Belowground biota responses to maize biochar addition to the soil of a Mediterranean vineyard

Andrés P., Rosell-Melé A., Colomer-Ventura F., Denef K., Cotrufo M.F., Riba M., Alcañiz J.M. (2019) Belowground biota responses to maize biochar addition to the soil of a Mediterranean vineyard. Science of the Total Environment. 660: 1522-1532.
Link
Doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.01.101

Abstract:

Biochar is a high carbon material resulting from biomass pyrolysis that, when applied to croplands, can increase soil carbon and soil water retention. Both effects are of critical importance in semi-arid regions, where carbon decline and desertification are the main drivers of soil degradation. Since most environmental services provided by soil are mediated by belowground biota, effects of biochar on soil microbial and invertebrate communities must be evaluated under field conditions before its agricultural application can be recommended. We tested maize biochar for its mid-term effect on soil microbes and micro-arthropods of a Mediterranean vineyard. We applied biochar to three field plots with neutral sandy loam soils at a dose of 5 Mg ha−1. During two years, we monitored the abundance of functional groups of soil micro-arthropods and estimated the biomass of soil microbial groups. We also analyzed the δ13C value of microbial PLFA biomarkers to determine biochar-C utilization by each microbial group taking advantage of the δ13C natural abundance differences between the applied biochar and the soil. Biochar addition significantly reduced soil microbial biomass but did not alter the functional microbial diversity nor the abundance or biodiversity of soil micro-arthropods. The contribution of biochar-C to the diet of most microbial groups was very low through the monitoring period. However, two gram-negative bacterial groups increased their biochar-derived carbon uptake under extreme soil dryness, which suggests that biochar-C might help soil microbes to overcome the food shortage caused by drought. The decrease in microbial biomass observed in our experiment and the concomitant decrease of SOM mineralization could contribute to the carbon sequestration potential of Mediterranean soils after biochar addition. © 2019 Elsevier B.V.

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Grazing and edaphic properties mediate soil biotic response to altered precipitation patterns in a semiarid prairie

Andrés, P., Moore, J.C., Cotrufo, F., Denef, K., Haddix, M.L., Molowny-Horas, R., Riba, M., Wall, D.H. (2017) Grazing and edaphic properties mediate soil biotic response to altered precipitation patterns in a semiarid prairie. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 113: 263-274.
Link
Doi: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2017.06.022

Abstract:

Soil food web stability in response to grazing in a semi-arid prairie: The importance of soil textural heterogeneity

Andrés P., Moore J.C., Simpson R.T., Selby G., Cotrufo F., Denef K., Haddix M.L., Shaw E.A., de Tomasel C.M., Molowny-Horas R., Wall D.H. (2016) Soil food web stability in response to grazing in a semi-arid prairie: The importance of soil textural heterogeneity. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 97: 131-143.
Link
Doi: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2016.02.014

Abstract:

Grazing of grasslands by large herbivores is a form of land use intensification that affects not only plant communities but also soil biota and the ecosystem services that it provides. While grassland ecosystem responses to grazing have been extensively studied, few studies have focused on the effects of aboveground herbivores on belowground diversity and functions. In this work, we quantified effects of grazing on the structure, function and dynamic stability of soil food webs. We sampled a long-term grazing manipulation in a semi-arid shortgrass steppe (USA Great Plains) at sites showing contrasting soil textures. Treatments included native steppe plots that have been moderately grazed since 1939 paired with plots totally protected from grazing since 1996. We sampled our plots for soil C and N, and for soil biota, separated microbes and micro- and mesofauna in trophic functional groups and defined trophic relationships. We used models to estimate carbon and nitrogen mineralization, energy flow throughout the food web, interaction strengths between trophic groups at steady-state and, eventually, asymptotic (near-equilibrium or local) stability (Moore and de Ruiter, 2012). Soil food web response to grazing depended on soil texture and organic matter content. In our food webs, most energy flowed through the fungal and bacterial detritus-based channels (sensu Moore and Hunt, 1988). There was a clear asymmetry between the amount of energy flowing through each of the two channels and, the higher this asymmetry, the higher was food web stability. Stability was affected by both grazing and soil properties (increased under grazing in high clay soils with high organic matter content but decreased in less organic loam sandy soils), and positively associated with soil organic matter content. Overall, we found that the carbon flow through the soil food web of the shortgrass steppe is responsive to grazing in ways that altered stability and that structural, functional, and dynamic attributes are sensitive parameters for evaluating soil response to land use under changing scenarios. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

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Farmers’ knowledge and use of soil fauna in agriculture: A worldwide review

Pauli, N., Abbott, L.K., Negrete-Yankelevich, S., Andrés, P. (2016) Farmers’ knowledge and use of soil fauna in agriculture: A worldwide review. Ecology and Society. 21: 0-0.
Link
Doi: 10.5751/ES-08597-210319

Abstract:

Toxicity of phenmedipham and carbendazim to Enchytraeus crypticus and Eisenia andrei (Oligochaeta) in Mediterranean soils

Chelinho S., Domene X., Campana P., Andres P., Rombke J., Sousa J.P. (2014) Toxicity of phenmedipham and carbendazim to Enchytraeus crypticus and Eisenia andrei (Oligochaeta) in Mediterranean soils. Journal of Soils and Sediments. 14: 584-599.
Link
Doi: 10.1007/s11368-013-0818-8

Abstract:

Purpose: The main objective of the present study was to evaluate the toxicity of two reference chemicals, Carbendazim and Phenmedipham, for the compostworm Eisenia andrei (effects of Carbendazim) and the potworm Enchytraeus crypticus (effects of Phenmedipham) in 12 Mediterranean soils with contrasting soil properties. The observed toxicity was also compared to that obtained for OECD standard soil, used as a control. Materials and methods: The soils were selected to be representative for the Mediterranean region and to cover a broad range of soil properties. The evaluated endpoints were avoidance behavior and reproduction. Soils were also assembled in two groups according to their pedological properties. Results and discussion: Toxicity benchmarks (AC50s) obtained for E. andrei avoidance behavior in carbendazim-contaminated soils were generally higher for sandy soils with low pH. The toxic effects on the reproduction of the compostworms were similar in the six tested soils, indicating a low influence of soil properties. The avoidance response of E. crypticus towards Phenmedipham was generally highly variable in all tested soils. Even though, a higher toxicity was observed for more acidic soils. The EC50s for reproduction of the latter species varied by a factor of 9 and Phenmedipham toxicity also tended to be increasing in soils with lower pH, except for the soils with extreme organic matter content (0.6 and 5.8%). Conclusions: A soil effect on chemical toxicity was clearly confirmed, highlighting the influence that test soils can have in site-specific ecological risk assessment. Despite some relationships between soil properties and toxicity were outlined, a clear and statistically significant prediction of chemical toxicity could not be established. The range of soil properties was probably narrow to give clearer and more consistent insights on their influence. For the four groups of tests, the toxicity observed for OECD soil was either similar, lower, or generally higher if compared with Mediterranean soils. Moreover, it did represent neither the organic matter content found in Mediterranean soils nor their textural classes. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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Soil microarthropod community testing: A new approach to increase the ecological relevance of effect data for pesticide risk assessment

Chelinho S., Domene X., Andres P., Natal-da-Luz T., Norte C., Rufino C., Lopes I., Cachada A., Espindola E., Ribeiro R., Duarte A.C., Sousa J.P. (2013) Soil microarthropod community testing: A new approach to increase the ecological relevance of effect data for pesticide risk assessment. Applied Soil Ecology. : 0-0.
Link
Doi: 10.1016/j.apsoil.2013.06.009

Abstract:

In the present study, a new complementary approach combining the use of the natural soil microarthropod community and conventional test methods was used. The effects of soil contamination with the insecticide carbofuran on two geographically distinct microarthropod communities (Mediterranean and Tropical) were evaluated in their soils of origin under controlled laboratory conditions. After contamination of two agricultural soils from Portugal and Brazil, a gradient of concentrations was prepared. Soil cores were taken from the respective uncontaminated surrounding areas and the mesofauna of three cores was extracted directly to the test soil. After extracting the microarthropod communities to the test soil, these were incubated under laboratory conditions for 4 weeks, after which the mesofauna was extracted again. The organisms were assorted into higher taxonomic groups and Acari and Collembola were respectively assorted into order/sub-order/cohort and family. Collembolans were still classified according to morphological traits and used as a case-study of trait based risk assessment (TERA; Baird et al., 2008) of pesticides. The exposure to insecticide contamination caused the impoverishment of the taxonomic diversity in both communities. Significant shifts in the microarthropod community structure in the different carbofuran treatments were found for both soils, although effects were more pronounced in the assay performed with the soil from Brazil. Collembolans were the most affected group with a strong decline in their abundance. A dose-response relationship was observed, showing a consistent decline on the relative abundance of Isotomidae, closely followed by an increase of Entomobryidae. Contrastingly, Acari (especially Oribatida) tended to increase their numbers with higher concentrations. Trait based analysis of Collembola data suggested that a shift in the functional composition of the communities occurred due to carbofuran soil contamination and that species adapted to deeper soil layers were more vulnerable to insecticide toxicity. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Soil biochar amendments: type and dose effects

Ojeda G, Domene X, Mattana S, Sousa JP, Ortiz O, Andrés P, Alcañiz JM (2012) Soil biochar amendments: type and dose effects (Póster). EGU General Assembly. Viena, Austria, 22 -27 April 2012.

Recrear suelos captando carbono: la restauración de suelos mineros dentro de una estrategia ambiental global.

Andrés P (2012) Recrear suelos captando carbono: la restauración de suelos mineros dentro de una estrategia ambiental global. (Ponencia por invitación) En: Simposio Internacional de Restauración Ecológica. Retos y Estrategias de Restauración en el Caribe Colombiano. Universidad del Atlántico. Barranquilla (Colombia). 25-27 de julio de 2012.

La construcción de conocimiento complejo para la restauración de territorios económica y ambientalmente degradados. Un caso de aplicación a áreas ganaderas del trópico seco.

Andrés P, Tarrasón D, Ravera F, Espelta JM, López K,  Urrutia, JT, Rocha J (2012) La construcción de conocimiento complejo para la restauración de territorios económica y ambientalmente degradados. Un caso de aplicación a áreas ganaderas del trópico seco. (Ponencia por invitación) En: Simposio Internacional de Restauración Ecológica. Retos y Estrategias de Restauración en el Caribe Colombiano. Universidad del Atlántico. Barranquilla (Colombia). 25-27 de julio de 2012.

Using soil microarthropod community testing to increase ecological relevance of effect data in pesticide risk assessment

Chelinho S, Domene X, Natal-da-Luz T, Andrés P, Norte C, Rufino C, Lopes I, Cachada A, Espindola E, Ribeiro R, Duarte AC, Sousa JP 2012 Using soil microarthropod community testing to increase ecological relevance of effect data in pesticide risk assessment (Presentación oral) SETAC World Congress/SETAC Europe 22nd Annual Meeting. Berlin, Germany, 20-x24 May 2012.

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