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Publisher: Elsevier   (Total: 3163 journals)

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Showing 1 - 200 of 3163 Journals sorted alphabetically
A Practical Logic of Cognitive Systems     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
AASRI Procedia     Open Access   (Followers: 14)
Academic Pediatrics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 30, SJR: 1.655, CiteScore: 2)
Academic Radiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 22, SJR: 1.015, CiteScore: 2)
Accident Analysis & Prevention     Partially Free   (Followers: 88, SJR: 1.462, CiteScore: 3)
Accounting Forum     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25, SJR: 0.932, CiteScore: 2)
Accounting, Organizations and Society     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 35, SJR: 1.771, CiteScore: 3)
Achievements in the Life Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Acta Anaesthesiologica Taiwanica     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Acta Astronautica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 394, SJR: 0.758, CiteScore: 2)
Acta Automatica Sinica     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Acta Biomaterialia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27, SJR: 1.967, CiteScore: 7)
Acta Colombiana de Cuidado Intensivo     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Acta de Investigación Psicológica     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Acta Ecologica Sinica     Open Access   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.18, CiteScore: 1)
Acta Haematologica Polonica     Free   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.128, CiteScore: 0)
Acta Histochemica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.661, CiteScore: 2)
Acta Materialia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 244, SJR: 3.263, CiteScore: 6)
Acta Mathematica Scientia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.504, CiteScore: 1)
Acta Mechanica Solida Sinica     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.542, CiteScore: 1)
Acta Oecologica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.834, CiteScore: 2)
Acta Otorrinolaringologica (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription  
Acta Otorrinolaringológica Española     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.307, CiteScore: 0)
Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 1.793, CiteScore: 6)
Acta Poética     Open Access   (Followers: 4, SJR: 0.101, CiteScore: 0)
Acta Psychologica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27, SJR: 1.331, CiteScore: 2)
Acta Sociológica     Open Access  
Acta Tropica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.052, CiteScore: 2)
Acta Urológica Portuguesa     Open Access  
Actas Dermo-Sifiliograficas     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.374, CiteScore: 1)
Actas Dermo-Sifiliográficas (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Actas Urológicas Españolas     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.344, CiteScore: 1)
Actas Urológicas Españolas (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Actualites Pharmaceutiques     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.19, CiteScore: 0)
Actualites Pharmaceutiques Hospitalieres     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Acupuncture and Related Therapies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Acute Pain     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15, SJR: 2.671, CiteScore: 5)
Ad Hoc Networks     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.53, CiteScore: 4)
Addictive Behaviors     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16, SJR: 1.29, CiteScore: 3)
Addictive Behaviors Reports     Open Access   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.755, CiteScore: 2)
Additive Manufacturing     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9, SJR: 2.611, CiteScore: 8)
Additives for Polymers     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 22)
Advanced Cement Based Materials     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.732, CiteScore: 3)
Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 134, SJR: 4.09, CiteScore: 13)
Advanced Engineering Informatics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 1.167, CiteScore: 4)
Advanced Powder Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16, SJR: 0.694, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Accounting     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.277, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Agronomy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12, SJR: 2.384, CiteScore: 5)
Advances in Anesthesia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 28, SJR: 0.126, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Antiviral Drug Design     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Advances in Applied Mathematics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.992, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Applied Mechanics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 1.551, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Applied Microbiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 22, SJR: 2.089, CiteScore: 5)
Advances In Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14, SJR: 0.572, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Biological Regulation     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4, SJR: 2.61, CiteScore: 7)
Advances in Botanical Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.686, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Cancer Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 29, SJR: 3.043, CiteScore: 6)
Advances in Carbohydrate Chemistry and Biochemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7, SJR: 1.453, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Catalysis     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 1.992, CiteScore: 5)
Advances in Cell Aging and Gerontology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Advances in Cellular and Molecular Biology of Membranes and Organelles     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
Advances in Chemical Engineering     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 27, SJR: 0.156, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Child Development and Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.713, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 1.316, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Clinical Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 28, SJR: 1.562, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Colloid and Interface Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 19, SJR: 1.977, CiteScore: 8)
Advances in Computers     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14, SJR: 0.205, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Dermatology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15)
Advances in Developmental Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Advances in Digestive Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 8)
Advances in DNA Sequence-Specific Agents     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Drug Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 23)
Advances in Ecological Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 42, SJR: 2.524, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Engineering Software     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27, SJR: 1.159, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Experimental Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Advances in Experimental Social Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 43, SJR: 5.39, CiteScore: 8)
Advances in Exploration Geophysics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Advances in Fluorine Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
Advances in Food and Nutrition Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 53, SJR: 0.591, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Fuel Cells     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 17)
Advances in Genetics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15, SJR: 1.354, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Genome Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8, SJR: 12.74, CiteScore: 13)
Advances in Geophysics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.193, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Heat Transfer     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 21, SJR: 0.368, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Heterocyclic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.749, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Human Factors/Ergonomics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 22)
Advances in Imaging and Electron Physics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.193, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Immunology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 37, SJR: 4.433, CiteScore: 6)
Advances in Inorganic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8, SJR: 1.163, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Insect Physiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2, SJR: 1.938, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Integrative Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.176, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Intl. Accounting     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Advances in Life Course Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.682, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Lipobiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Advances in Magnetic and Optical Resonance     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
Advances in Marine Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14, SJR: 0.88, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Mathematics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11, SJR: 3.027, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Medical Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.694, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Medicinal Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Microbial Physiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4, SJR: 1.158, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Molecular and Cell Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 21)
Advances in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Advances in Molecular Toxicology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.182, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Nanoporous Materials     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Advances in Oncobiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Advances in Organ Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Advances in Organometallic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16, SJR: 1.875, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Parallel Computing     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.174, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Parasitology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 1.579, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Pediatrics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 24, SJR: 0.461, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Pharmaceutical Sciences     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Advances in Pharmacology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16, SJR: 1.536, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Physical Organic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.574, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Phytomedicine     Full-text available via subscription  
Advances in Planar Lipid Bilayers and Liposomes     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.109, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Plant Biochemistry and Molecular Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Advances in Plant Pathology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Porous Media     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Protein Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 18)
Advances in Protein Chemistry and Structural Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 19, SJR: 0.791, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 59)
Advances in Quantum Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.371, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Radiation Oncology     Open Access   (SJR: 0.263, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.101, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Space Biology and Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Space Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 385, SJR: 0.569, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Structural Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Surgery     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.555, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in the Study of Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 29, SJR: 2.208, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Veterinary Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 17)
Advances in Veterinary Science and Comparative Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 13)
Advances in Virus Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 2.262, CiteScore: 5)
Advances in Water Resources     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 46, SJR: 1.551, CiteScore: 3)
Aeolian Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.117, CiteScore: 3)
Aerospace Science and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 335, SJR: 0.796, CiteScore: 3)
AEU - Intl. J. of Electronics and Communications     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.42, CiteScore: 2)
African J. of Emergency Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.296, CiteScore: 0)
Ageing Research Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10, SJR: 3.671, CiteScore: 9)
Aggression and Violent Behavior     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 436, SJR: 1.238, CiteScore: 3)
Agri Gene     Hybrid Journal   (SJR: 0.13, CiteScore: 0)
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15, SJR: 1.818, CiteScore: 5)
Agricultural Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 31, SJR: 1.156, CiteScore: 4)
Agricultural Water Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 43, SJR: 1.272, CiteScore: 3)
Agriculture and Agricultural Science Procedia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Agriculture and Natural Resources     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 56, SJR: 1.747, CiteScore: 4)
Ain Shams Engineering J.     Open Access   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.589, CiteScore: 3)
Air Medical J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.26, CiteScore: 0)
AKCE Intl. J. of Graphs and Combinatorics     Open Access   (SJR: 0.19, CiteScore: 0)
Alcohol     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 1.153, CiteScore: 3)
Alcoholism and Drug Addiction     Open Access   (Followers: 9)
Alergologia Polska : Polish J. of Allergology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Alexandria Engineering J.     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.604, CiteScore: 3)
Alexandria J. of Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.191, CiteScore: 1)
Algal Research     Partially Free   (Followers: 10, SJR: 1.142, CiteScore: 4)
Alkaloids: Chemical and Biological Perspectives     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Allergologia et Immunopathologia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.504, CiteScore: 1)
Allergology Intl.     Open Access   (Followers: 5, SJR: 1.148, CiteScore: 2)
Alpha Omegan     Full-text available via subscription   (SJR: 3.521, CiteScore: 6)
ALTER - European J. of Disability Research / Revue Européenne de Recherche sur le Handicap     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.201, CiteScore: 1)
Alzheimer's & Dementia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 50, SJR: 4.66, CiteScore: 10)
Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring     Open Access   (Followers: 4, SJR: 1.796, CiteScore: 4)
Alzheimer's & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions     Open Access   (Followers: 4, SJR: 1.108, CiteScore: 3)
Ambulatory Pediatrics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
American Heart J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 50, SJR: 3.267, CiteScore: 4)
American J. of Cardiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 51, SJR: 1.93, CiteScore: 3)
American J. of Emergency Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 44, SJR: 0.604, CiteScore: 1)
American J. of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
American J. of Geriatric Psychiatry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14, SJR: 1.524, CiteScore: 3)
American J. of Human Genetics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 32, SJR: 7.45, CiteScore: 8)
American J. of Infection Control     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 26, SJR: 1.062, CiteScore: 2)
American J. of Kidney Diseases     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 34, SJR: 2.973, CiteScore: 4)
American J. of Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 43)
American J. of Medicine Supplements     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 1.967, CiteScore: 2)
American J. of Obstetrics and Gynecology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 203, SJR: 2.7, CiteScore: 4)
American J. of Ophthalmology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 62, SJR: 3.184, CiteScore: 4)
American J. of Ophthalmology Case Reports     Open Access   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.265, CiteScore: 0)
American J. of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.289, CiteScore: 1)
American J. of Otolaryngology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25, SJR: 0.59, CiteScore: 1)
American J. of Pathology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27, SJR: 2.139, CiteScore: 4)
American J. of Preventive Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27, SJR: 2.164, CiteScore: 4)
American J. of Surgery     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 37, SJR: 1.141, CiteScore: 2)
American J. of the Medical Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12, SJR: 0.767, CiteScore: 1)
Ampersand : An Intl. J. of General and Applied Linguistics     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Anaerobe     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4, SJR: 1.144, CiteScore: 3)
Anaesthesia & Intensive Care Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 63, SJR: 0.138, CiteScore: 0)
Anaesthesia Critical Care & Pain Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15, SJR: 0.411, CiteScore: 1)
Anales de Cirugia Vascular     Full-text available via subscription  
Anales de Pediatría     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.277, CiteScore: 0)
Anales de Pediatría (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription  
Anales de Pediatría Continuada     Full-text available via subscription  
Analytic Methods in Accident Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 4.849, CiteScore: 10)
Analytica Chimica Acta     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 39, SJR: 1.512, CiteScore: 5)
Analytical Biochemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 174, SJR: 0.633, CiteScore: 2)
Analytical Chemistry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.411, CiteScore: 2)
Analytical Spectroscopy Library     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Anesthésie & Réanimation     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Anesthesiology Clinics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 23, SJR: 0.683, CiteScore: 2)
Angiología     Full-text available via subscription   (SJR: 0.121, CiteScore: 0)
Angiologia e Cirurgia Vascular     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.111, CiteScore: 0)

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Journal Cover
Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment
Journal Prestige (SJR): 1.747
Citation Impact (citeScore): 4
Number of Followers: 56  
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 0167-8809 - ISSN (Online) 1873-2305
Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3163 journals]
  • Effects of agricultural management practices on soil quality: A review of
           long-term experiments for Europe and China
    • Authors: Zhanguo Bai; Thomas Caspari; Maria Ruiperez Gonzalez; Niels H. Batjes; Paul Mäder; Else K. Bünemann; Ron de Goede; Lijbert Brussaard; Minggang Xu; Carla Sofia Santos Ferreira; Endla Reintam; Hongzhu Fan; Rok Mihelič; Matjaž Glavan; Zoltán Tóth
      Pages: 1 - 7
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 October 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 265
      Author(s): Zhanguo Bai, Thomas Caspari, Maria Ruiperez Gonzalez, Niels H. Batjes, Paul Mäder, Else K. Bünemann, Ron de Goede, Lijbert Brussaard, Minggang Xu, Carla Sofia Santos Ferreira, Endla Reintam, Hongzhu Fan, Rok Mihelič, Matjaž Glavan, Zoltán Tóth
      In this paper we present effects of four paired agricultural management practices (organic matter (OM) addition versus no organic matter input, no-tillage (NT) versus conventional tillage, crop rotation versus monoculture, and organic agriculture versus conventional agriculture) on five key soil quality indicators, i.e., soil organic matter (SOM) content, pH, aggregate stability, earthworms (numbers) and crop yield. We have considered organic matter addition, no-tillage, crop rotation and organic agriculture as “promising practices”; no organic matter input, conventional tillage, monoculture and conventional farming were taken as the respective references or “standard practice” (baseline). Relative effects were analysed through indicator response ratio (RR) under each paired practice. For this we considered data of 30 long-term experiments collected from 13 case study sites in Europe and China as collated in the framework of the EU-China funded iSQAPER project. These were complemented with data from 42 long-term experiments across China and 402 observations of long-term trials published in the literature. Out of these, we only considered experiments covering at least five years. The results show that OM addition favourably affected all the indicators under consideration. The most favourable effect was reported on earthworm numbers, followed by yield, SOM content and soil aggregate stability. For pH, effects depended on soil type; OM input favourably affected the pH of acidic soils, whereas no clear trend was observed under NT. NT generally led to increased aggregate stability and greater SOM content in upper soil horizons. However, the magnitude of the relative effects varied, e.g. with soil texture. No-tillage practices enhanced earthworm populations, but not where herbicides or pesticides were applied to combat weeds and pests. Overall, in this review, yield slightly decreased under NT. Crop rotation had a positive effect on SOM content and yield; rotation with ley very positively influenced earthworms’ numbers. Overall, crop rotation had little impact on soil pH and aggregate stability − depending on the type of intercrop; alternatively, rotation of arable crops only resulted in adverse effects. A clear positive trend was observed for earthworm abundance under organic agriculture. Further, organic agriculture generally resulted in increased aggregate stability and greater SOM content. Overall, no clear trend was found for pH; a decrease in yield was observed under organic agriculture in this review.

      PubDate: 2018-06-01T10:59:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.05.028
      Issue No: Vol. 265 (2018)
  • Nitrogen application rates need to be reduced for half of the rice paddy
           fields in China
    • Authors: Dan Zhang; Hongyuan Wang; Junting Pan; Jiafa Luo; Jian Liu; Baojing Gu; Shen Liu; Limei Zhai; Stuart Lindsey; Yitao Zhang; Qiuliang Lei; Shuxia Wu; Pete Smith; Hongbin Liu
      Pages: 8 - 14
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 October 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 265
      Author(s): Dan Zhang, Hongyuan Wang, Junting Pan, Jiafa Luo, Jian Liu, Baojing Gu, Shen Liu, Limei Zhai, Stuart Lindsey, Yitao Zhang, Qiuliang Lei, Shuxia Wu, Pete Smith, Hongbin Liu
      Increasing nitrogen (N) application to croplands in order to support growing food demand is a major cause of environmental degradation. However, evaluations of suitable N application rates based on environmental benefit have rarely been carried out for paddy-rice at a national scale in China. To address this challenge, we investigated the current status of N management in 1531 counties, covering the primary agro-ecological regions of Chinese rice production in 2008, and conducted 12 field experiments with six N level practices for 3 years (2011–2013). Results showed that the highest yields for rice were 5.8–8.6 Mg ha−1 with N rates of 209.4–289.8 kg N ha−1. Compared with the N rate for the highest yield (YHN), the environmentally optimal N rate (EnON) was lower by 20–39% and the corresponding N loss was reduced by 21–45%, while ensuring 95–99% of the highest crop yield. In China, the N inputs to paddy fields exceeded the YHN and EnON rates by 10% and 45%, respectively. After adjusting the N rate to paddy fields to the EnON rate, the N amount used in China and the corresponding N lost would be reduced by 0.9 and 0.5 Tg N yr−1, respectively, which enable highly efficient production of food with the lowest N loss possible. Thus, we suggest that N use rates for 45% of rice paddy fields in China, for which N application rates exceed the EnON rate, need to be reduced to mitigate environmental damage, and this can be done while still meeting China’s food demand.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2018-06-01T10:59:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.05.023
      Issue No: Vol. 265 (2018)
  • Grazing induced changes in plant diversity is a critical factor
           controlling grassland productivity in the Desert Steppe, Northern China
    • Authors: Ruiyang Zhang; Zhongwu Wang; Guodong Han; Michael P. Schellenberg; Qian Wu; Chen Gu
      Pages: 73 - 83
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 October 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 265
      Author(s): Ruiyang Zhang, Zhongwu Wang, Guodong Han, Michael P. Schellenberg, Qian Wu, Chen Gu
      The desert steppe is a large component of the semi-arid grassland ecosystem in northern China, and provides significant resources for livestock production. However, overgrazing is regarded as one of main causes of its degradation and desertification over recent decades. Quantifying the direct and indirect effects of grazing disturbance on plant community productivity in the desert steppe ecosystem can provide insights into appropriate measures for the restoration of degraded grassland and biodiversity conservation. Here, we examine the effects of four grazing intensity treatments: no grazing (control), light grazing (LG), moderate grazing (MG) and heavy grazing (HG) on the plant community and soil nutrients with sheep grazing over 12 years in a desert steppe in Inner Mongolia, northern China. The results showed that increasing grazing intensity resulted in decreased species richness, Shannon-Wiener and Pielou’s index, as well as above- and belowground biomass. Soil moisture, nitrogen, available potassium and soil organic carbon were not affected (P > 0.05) by grazing disturbance. In addition, grazing disturbance had a greater indirect effect on aboveground biomass via plant diversity. Consequently, plant diversity is a key indirect factor that determines community productivity in response to grazing disturbance. Reducing grazing pressure can contribute to maintaining relatively high species diversity and productivity in the desert steppe of northern China.

      PubDate: 2018-06-10T11:31:21Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.05.014
      Issue No: Vol. 265 (2018)
  • Ecosystem functioning is more strongly impaired by reducing dung beetle
           abundance than by reducing species richness
    • Authors: Paul Manning; G. Christopher Cutler
      Pages: 9 - 14
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 September 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 264
      Author(s): Paul Manning, G. Christopher Cutler
      Intensive management practices have been widely shown to reduce the diversity and abundance of insects in agricultural landscapes. This loss has attracted considerable public and scientific interest, owing partially to the importance of insects in supporting ecosystem functions. The relative importance of diversity and abundance in underpinning ecosystem functioning, however, has not been widely explored. We examined the relative importance of diversity and abundance in ecosystem functioning using a model system of three widespread species of dung beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea). We used a design that manipulated species richness, while also standardizing dung beetle abundance at two levels. We predicted that individual species would contribute unequally to ecosystem functioning, functioning in multi-species assemblages could be reliably predicted from single-species assemblages, and that loss of abundance would more strongly affect functioning than loss of diversity. Comparisons of functioning among three species showed that individual species contributed unequally to dung removal. In most cases multi-species assemblages provided higher levels of dung removal than predicted by single-species assemblages, demonstrating evidence of complementarity. The average effect of species richness loss had no significant effect on dung removal. In contrast a 33% loss of insect abundance corresponded to a 29% reduction in dung removal. Our work provides empirical evidence that loss of insect abundance, a widely occurring response to agricultural intensification, can have stronger consequences for ecosystem functioning than reductions in species richness. Further efforts should confirm whether this relationship is consistent across other ecosystem functions. Should this be observed, ecosystem functioning arguments could be useful in motivating agricultural producers to participate in practices such as agri-environment schemes which have potential to simultaneously conserve the diversity and abundance of insects in agroecosystems.

      PubDate: 2018-05-28T15:07:33Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.05.002
      Issue No: Vol. 264 (2018)
  • Land-use heterogeneity by small-scale agriculture promotes amphibian
           diversity in montane agroforestry systems of northeast Colombia
    • Authors: Lilith Zoe Brüning; Mina Krieger; Elson Meneses-Pelayo; Nico Eisenhauer; Martha Patricia Ramirez Pinilla; Björn Reu; Raffael Ernst
      Pages: 15 - 23
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 September 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 264
      Author(s): Lilith Zoe Brüning, Mina Krieger, Elson Meneses-Pelayo, Nico Eisenhauer, Martha Patricia Ramirez Pinilla, Björn Reu, Raffael Ernst
      Habitat fragmentation, the transformation of interconnected large habitats into several small patches, is generally considered to have a negative influence on biodiversity. Management policies should therefore favour strategies that minimize fragmentation. We studied amphibian diversity and compositional patterns in a complex montane agroforestry matrix of north-eastern Colombia to assess whether small-scale agroforestry is a viable way of reconciling crop production, farming, and biodiversity conservation. A total of five different land-use systems, including natural cloud forest, were compared. We used standardized visual and acoustic transect sampling routines in combination with field-based habitat assessments to establish amphibian assemblage data sets and corresponding habitat templets. Data sets were analysed using classical species richness and diversity statistics in combination with multivariate procedures to address compositional aspects. PER(mutational)MANOVA models were applied to identify environmental and land-use type-specific drivers of shifts in assemblage composition. Results show that agricultural management has a strong influence on amphibian species richness and diversity. With the exception of high intensity cattle pasture, diversity was generally highest in agriculturally used sites particularly in shaded plantations. Species composition differed markedly between different land-use types, indicating that there was not a single best land-use type that supported all species. This highlights the need for a landscape approach to biodiversity conservation in fragmented forests and consequently requires refocusing on conservation in management units as well as in the matrix. In human modified montane forest landscapes small-scale agriculture that generates landscape heterogeneity should therefore be promoted to effectively safeguard biodiversity.

      PubDate: 2018-05-28T15:07:33Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.05.011
      Issue No: Vol. 264 (2018)
  • Bee pollinators of faba bean (Vicia faba L.) differ in their foraging
           behaviour and pollination efficiency
    • Authors: Birgit Marzinzig; Lisa Brünjes; Siria Biagioni; Hermann Behling; Wolfgang Link; Catrin Westphal
      Pages: 24 - 33
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 September 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 264
      Author(s): Birgit Marzinzig, Lisa Brünjes, Siria Biagioni, Hermann Behling, Wolfgang Link, Catrin Westphal
      Insect pollination is essential for crop production by enabling or increasing seed and fruit set in many crops. The grain legume faba bean (Vicia faba L.) is partially allogamous and benefits from bee pollination because bees transfer cross-pollen and improve seed set. Here, we study mechanisms behind bee pollination and address the question whether individual bee species differ in their efficiency to pollinate V. faba. We studied the foraging behaviour of bee pollinators in faba bean fields using transect walks, and the species-specific flower constancy based on pollen analyses. For the first time, we examined the species-specific effects of bee pollinators on seed set and degree of cross-fertilisation. We found that the two locally dominant pollinator species, Apis mellifera (56% of all observed individuals) and Bombus terrestris agg. (37%), did not provide efficient pollination service since they mostly robbed nectar. The less frequent species Bombus hortorum (4%), however, revealed to be the most efficient pollinator. It exhibited only legitimate flower visits, high flower constancy and additionally increased seed set and the degree of cross-fertilisation more than any other species. Our study demonstrates especially that less frequent and more specialised pollinator species with long tongues improve pollination and cross-fertilisation of faba bean, which is of great importance in plant breeding and seed production.

      PubDate: 2018-05-28T15:07:33Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.05.003
      Issue No: Vol. 264 (2018)
  • The intertwined effects of natural vegetation, local flower community, and
           pollinator diversity on the production of almond trees
    • Authors: David Alomar; Miguel A. González-Estévez; Anna Traveset; Amparo Lázaro
      Pages: 34 - 43
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 September 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 264
      Author(s): David Alomar, Miguel A. González-Estévez, Anna Traveset, Amparo Lázaro
      Wild pollinators are a valuable natural resource for crops, as they often increase their production and quality. For this reason, there is currently a great interest in the development of management and conservation tools that help to maintain a wide variety of wild pollinators in agro-systems. To achieve this, it becomes a priority to study the diversity of wild pollinators in relevant crops as well as the local and landscape characteristics that benefit them. The almond tree (Prunus dulcis) is a crop of high economic interest, with a large dependence on pollinators due to the self-incompatibility of most of its varieties and, thus, it is very vulnerable to pollinator losses. By using field data and habitat characterization of 18 almond fields in Mallorca Island (Spain), we assessed how the abundance and diversity of pollinators varied with local and landscape characteristics (at 1 and 2 km buffer zones) of the fields, and how those affected almond production (fruit set). Almond trees were mostly pollinated by honeybees, but they were also visited by a large number of wild pollinators. The percentage of natural area in the 2 km buffer zones increased both pollinator-species richness and honeybee visits. At the field level, the flower community in the ground positively influenced almond production, both directly and indirectly by increasing the diversity of wild pollinators. Pollinator-species diversity directly increased fruit production but was negatively affected by honeybee abundance, which suggests that a high density of honeybees might result in negative effects on almond production through competition with wild pollinators. Management strategies to improve almond production might include favoring wild pollinators through the maintenance of natural habitats surrounding crop fields, and preserving the flowering herb community that occurs spontaneously in the groundcover of almond fields in Mediterranean areas.

      PubDate: 2018-05-28T15:07:33Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.05.004
      Issue No: Vol. 264 (2018)
  • Different response patterns of epigaeic spiders and carabid beetles to
           varying environmental conditions in fields and semi-natural habitats of an
           intensively cultivated agricultural landscape
    • Authors: Xiang Li; Yunhui Liu; Meichun Duan; Zhenrong Yu; Jan C. Axmacher
      Pages: 54 - 62
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 September 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 264
      Author(s): Xiang Li, Yunhui Liu, Meichun Duan, Zhenrong Yu, Jan C. Axmacher
      Agricultural intensification has resulted in major losses of biodiversity due to landscape homogenization and an increasing use of agrochemicals. It has often been assumed that associated changes in environmental conditions are impacting composition and diversity of two main ground-dwelling generalist predator taxa, carabid beetles and epigaeic spiders, in similar ways. Here, we test how variations in environmental conditions at local scales (plant diversity and total soil nitrogen, Ntot) and landscape-scale (mean patch size) affect species composition, richness and abundance of ground beetles and epigaeic spiders in semi-natural and cultivated habitats of an agricultural landscape. We specifically test the hypotheses that both taxa are more diverse in semi-natural than cultivated habitats, but that due to their weaker dispersal ability, ground beetles are more strongly linked to local factors than spiders. Our results indicate that in our study area, carabid diversity shows no significant difference between semi-natural habitats and cropland, while spider abundance is significantly enhanced in semi-natural habitats. Ntot significantly affected carabid species richness and abundance, but had a limited influence on spider abundances. The species composition of both carabids and spiders was influenced by plant diversity, while Ntot played a significant role in determining spider assemblages but not carabid composition. There was no significant effect of the mean patch size in the surroundings landscape on either spider or carabid species. Nonetheless, in landscapes with small patch sizes, spider abundance decreased with increasing Ntot, while in landscapes with large sized patches, this relationship was reversed. The differences in responses of these taxa to local and landscape-scale environmental factors suggests that scale- and taxon-specific targets need to be established to improve the efficiency of measures aimed at enhancing ecosystem services provisions by these key pest control agents.

      PubDate: 2018-05-28T15:07:33Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.05.005
      Issue No: Vol. 264 (2018)
  • Intensified dryland crop rotations support greater grain production with
           fewer inputs
    • Authors: Steven T. Rosenzweig; Mary E. Stromberger; Meagan E. Schipanski
      Pages: 63 - 72
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 September 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 264
      Author(s): Steven T. Rosenzweig, Mary E. Stromberger, Meagan E. Schipanski
      Rising use and costs of agri-chemical inputs to support agricultural production have placed an economic burden on farmers while contributing to environmental and human health issues. Ecologically based nutrient and weed management – the use of ecological processes to replace external chemical inputs – may represent a strategy to support crop growth while achieving positive environmental and economic outcomes. In dryland agroecosystems around the world, farmers are increasingly transitioning toward no-till and intensified cropping systems, in which unvegetated fallow periods are replaced with crops. This study seeks to determine if cropping system intensification represents an ecologically based strategy for managing nutrients and weeds relative to traditional crop-fallow systems, and to understand the implications for crop production and profitability. We quantified total and potentially mineralizable nitrogen (N), arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) colonization of wheat roots and implications for plant phosphorus (P) uptake, 6 years of crop yields, fertilizer and herbicide use, and net operating income across dryland, no-till cropping systems in the semi-arid High Plains, USA. Three levels of cropping system intensity were represented ranging from wheat-fallow (unvegetated fallow every other year) to continuous cropping (no fallow years). After accounting for variability due to environment and site characteristics, total and potentially mineralizable N were 12% and 30% greater in continuous rotations relative to wheat-fallow, respectively. Mid-intensity (fallow every 2 or 3 years) and continuous rotations had roughly 2 and 3 times more AMF colonization than wheat-fallow, respectively, and AMF colonization was positively correlated with wheat plant P concentration. Farmers practicing continuous cropping applied 22 and 34 kg ha−1 less N fertilizer per crop compared to wheat-fallow and mid-intensity, respectively, despite similar and 60% greater annualized crop production than mid-intensity and wheat-fallow rotations, respectively. Additionally, farmers who practiced continuous cropping used less than half the total herbicide used by wheat-fallow farmers. Net operating incomes of continuous and mid-intensity rotations were an estimated 47 USD ha−1 yr−1 (80%) and 42 USD ha−1 yr−1 (70%) more than wheat-fallow, respectively. These results suggest that cropping system intensification, and especially continuous cropping, represents an opportunity to achieve more grain production while managing weeds and nutrients with fewer agri-chemical inputs, leading to greater profitability and improved environmental outcomes in no-till agroecosystems.

      PubDate: 2018-05-28T15:07:33Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.05.017
      Issue No: Vol. 264 (2018)
  • Carbon saturation and translocation in a no-till soil under organic
    • Authors: Rodrigo S. Nicoloso; Charles W. Rice; Telmo J.C. Amado; Claudia N. Costa; Edwin K. Akley
      Pages: 73 - 84
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 September 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 264
      Author(s): Rodrigo S. Nicoloso, Charles W. Rice, Telmo J.C. Amado, Claudia N. Costa, Edwin K. Akley
      Studies suggest that intensively tilled soils have lost 25–75% of their original soil organic C (SOC) content. No tillage (NT) can restore SOC in response to increased C inputs and reduced soil disturbance. Organic amendments provide faster recovery of SOC, ultimately promoting the saturation of soil layers. Here we present evidence of additional SOC accrual through translocation of SOC after saturation of the topsoil layer in a NT soil. Both processes were observed in a long-term (25 yr.) experiment comparing soil tillage systems (chisel tillage − CT, and NT) in central Kansas. Plots with continuous corn were amended with mineral (MF) and organic N (OF), in addition to a control treatment without N fertilization (CO). Accumulation of SOC was limited to the surface layer (0–5 cm) of the NT soil amended with MF. Organic fertilization increased SOC in the 0–5 cm soil layer from 9.5 Mg C ha−1 to a level of 16.2 and 30.2 Mg C ha−1 in CT and NT, respectively. Further analysis confirmed the saturation of physically protected SOC in the surface of NT soil under organic amendments. After saturation, significant SOC accrual (1.3 Mg C ha−1 yr−1) was observed in the 5–15 cm soil layer. Isotopic assessment confirmed the occurrence of SOC translocation between saturated and C-depleted NT soil layers. No evidence of SOC translocation was observed between non-saturated soil layers. Further research is needed to elucidate the mechanisms regulating this process. Nonetheless, SOC translocation and subsequent SOC accrual suggests a greater C sink potential for NT soils than previously thought.

      PubDate: 2018-05-28T15:07:33Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.05.016
      Issue No: Vol. 264 (2018)
  • Silage storage runoff characterization: Annual nutrient loading rate and
           first flush analysis of bunker silos
    • Authors: Michael A. Holly; Rebecca A. Larson; Eric T. Cooley; Aaron M. Wunderlin
      Pages: 85 - 93
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 September 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 264
      Author(s): Michael A. Holly, Rebecca A. Larson, Eric T. Cooley, Aaron M. Wunderlin
      Bunker silos produce a runoff that is a source of nutrient loss and a threat to surface water quality. Little information is available on the water quality of stormwater produced from bunker silos. This research evaluated the runoff characteristics from six horizontal bunker facilities at dairy farms to determine runoff water quality and nutrient loading throughout a storm and annual nutrient losses. On average, at 50% of the cumulative runoff volume the difference between cumulative nutrient load and volume did not exceed 20%, which is a threshold required for a first flush scenario (cumulative loads of P and N were 1.5 to 4.5% and −2.8 to 4.0% greater than cumulative volume, respectively). During the storage of silage in horizontal bunker silos an estimated 0.3 to 1.8% of ensiled P and 0.4 to 1.7% of ensiled N was lost annually with silage runoff. Assessment of a theoretical dairy farm in WI has a calculated runoff loss from horizontal feed storage of 30% and 55% of the total farmstead N and P runoff losses, respectively. Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) loading from bunker silos were relatively consistent throughout a storm with no evidence of a first flush scenario. Annual variability in low flow N and P concentrations were impacted by the production of silage leachate, and bunkers with subsurface collection reduced the nutrient concentrations in overflow runoff. Dairy bunkers provide an opportunity to decrease nutrient loading, through management of a small land base, as compared to other farmstead runoff areas. Reducing the amount of silage runoff lost from dairy farms has strong potential for N and P conservation.

      PubDate: 2018-05-28T15:07:33Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.05.015
      Issue No: Vol. 264 (2018)
  • Elevated CO2 increases the abundance but simplifies networks of soybean
           rhizosphere fungal community in Mollisol soils
    • Authors: Zhenhua Yu; Yansheng Li; Xiaojing Hu; Jian Jin; Guanghua Wang; Caixian Tang; Junjie Liu; Xiaobing Liu; Ashley Franks; Elenora Egidi; Zhihuang Xie
      Pages: 94 - 98
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 September 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 264
      Author(s): Zhenhua Yu, Yansheng Li, Xiaojing Hu, Jian Jin, Guanghua Wang, Caixian Tang, Junjie Liu, Xiaobing Liu, Ashley Franks, Elenora Egidi, Zhihuang Xie
      Elevated atmosphere CO2 (eCO2) levels lead to changes in the quantity and composition of rhizodeposition of soybeans. Previously, a majority of studies have focused on the bacterial community response to the eCO2 in the rhizosphere of soybean with little information regarding the quantitative and compositional changes in the fungal community available. To provide insight into the fungal community response, next generation sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region was conducted for in-depth analysis of changes in fungal abundance and diversity in response to eCO2. Four soybean cultivars (i.e. Xiaohuangjin, Suinong 8, Suinong 14 and Heinong 45) were grown for 65 days under ambient CO2 (aCO2) (390 ppm) and eCO2 (550 ppm) in Mollisol soils. Elevated CO2 significantly increased ITS copy numbers in the rhizosphere of the soybean cultivars except Xiaohuangjin and Suinong 14. Principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) revealed that eCO2, rather than soybean cultivars, altered the composition of soil fungal communities. Network analysis indicated that eCO2 simplified the network structure by changing topological roles of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and key fungal members, which were likely regulated by concentrations of NH4 +-N, NO3 −-N and available K and microbial biomass C under eCO2.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2018-05-28T15:07:33Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.05.006
      Issue No: Vol. 264 (2018)
  • Winter cereal production in a Mediterranean silvoarable walnut system in
           the face of climate change
    • Authors: M. Guadalupe Arenas-Corraliza; M. Lourdes López-Díaz; Gerardo Moreno
      Pages: 111 - 118
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 September 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 264
      Author(s): M. Guadalupe Arenas-Corraliza, M. Lourdes López-Díaz, Gerardo Moreno
      One of the foreseeable consequences of climate change is a reduction in crop yields. In recent years, agroforestry systems have been identified as a strategy for climate change mitigation and adaptation. In this study we assess the potential of a silvoarable system to protect crops against extreme climate events. We studied a 9-year-old hybrid walnut silvoarable system (Juglans x intermedia Mj209xRa) intercropped with cultivars of two winter cereals – wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) – for three consecutive years and compared it with monocrops and pure tree plantations. The parameters studied were grain and total biomass yield, harvest index, grain size and tree diameter increment. Plant phenology and soil and plant nutrients were also examined. Climate conditions and tree presence conditioned cereal yields, and the responses to silvoarable conditions differed among cereal species and cultivars. The silvoarable system with barley had higher production than monocrops in years with early heat events (yield increment of 55% in the first year and 15% in the second year). For wheat, no positive effect of trees in the silvoarable system was found, although grain quality improved significantly (2.56% and 2.76% N grain content in monocrops and silvoarable systems, respectively). Tree growth, measured as diameter at breast height increment, was lower in the silvoarable system (2.06 cm at the end of the study) than in the monospecific plantation (2.83 cm in the same period). The land equivalent ratio was always higher than 1 (1.34–2.08), showing that the silvoarable system was more productive than sole pure plantations and cereal monocrops.

      PubDate: 2018-06-01T10:59:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.05.024
      Issue No: Vol. 264 (2018)
  • Studying root water uptake of wheat genotypes in different soils using
           water δ18O stable isotopes
    • Authors: Paola E. Corneo; Michael A. Kertesz; Shiva Bakhshandeh; Hero Tahaei; Margaret M. Barbour; Feike A. Dijkstra
      Pages: 119 - 129
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 September 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 264
      Author(s): Paola E. Corneo, Michael A. Kertesz, Shiva Bakhshandeh, Hero Tahaei, Margaret M. Barbour, Feike A. Dijkstra
      The ability of plants to access water and nutrients is a key aspect of crop production and it is mainly through modified root growth that plants can optimize their access to those resources. Although genetics play a main role in shaping root traits, other factors such as soil physical characteristics and the distribution of water and nutrients in the soil profile can also modify root architecture. Here we used an isotope-based approach to determine the contribution of different soil depths to water uptake of four wheat genotypes (249, Bellaroi, F6 and Suntop) grown in two soil types (clayey vertosol and loamy-sand kandosol) in Narrabri (NSW), Australia. The proportional contribution of each soil depth to plant water uptake was determined at the vegetative stage using oxygen stable isotopes in soil and plant water (δ18O), and available N and root structure were measured at different soil depths. In both soil types most of the available N, and the majority of roots (both in length and weight) were in the top 10 cm, while the plant water extraction profile from different soil depths varied with soil type. In the kandosol, genotype 249 had a higher probability of extracting water from shallower dry soil layers, while F6 and Suntop of relying on deeper soil layers. In the vertosol, by contrast, Suntop and F6 had a higher root branching intensity in the top 0–10 cm and a higher probability of relying on this layer for much of its water extraction. In the kandosol genotypes with greater average depth of water extraction led to higher yield, suggesting that the ability to extract water from deeper layers at the vegetative stage can provide an early indication of plant productivity. The plasticity in root traits among genotypes and their variable water uptake strategy in different soil types illustrate the challenges with identifying root traits important for water extraction.

      PubDate: 2018-06-07T11:15:51Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.05.007
      Issue No: Vol. 264 (2018)
  • Which carabid species (Coleoptera: Carabidae) profit from organic farming
           after a succession of 15 years'
    • Authors: Ulrich Irmler
      Pages: 1 - 6
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 August 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 263
      Author(s): Ulrich Irmler
      The changes of the ground beetle assemblages during the 15 years succession after the conversion from conventional to organic farming was investigated in northern Germany, with the aim to find trends for the communities on organically farmed fields. The succession showed that the carabid assemblages developed from typically wide-spread communities on loamy soils to assemblages, which are typical for more sandy soils and open habitats. All nine fields studied had the same direction in their succession. At the beginning, the composition of the assemblages was nearly similar but they developed during the succession into more diverse communities with a greater heterogeneity and changes between years. A detailed analysis of ecological groups revealed that species preferring forest margins disappeared from the fields, whereas species preferring open habitats benefited from the conversion. Some species were able to disperse further into the field centres, some could invade from the field margin to the centres and some newly immigrated during the succession and could also disperse into the field. The conclusion drawn from these results is that, in general, species from open habitats will benefit from organic fields.

      PubDate: 2018-05-28T15:07:33Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.02.019
      Issue No: Vol. 263 (2018)
  • Organic management and cover crop species steer soil microbial community
           structure and functionality along with soil organic matter properties
    • Authors: Laura B. Martínez-García; Gerard Korthals; Lijbert Brussaard; Helene Bracht Jørgensen; Gerlinde B. De Deyn
      Pages: 7 - 17
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 August 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 263
      Author(s): Laura B. Martínez-García, Gerard Korthals, Lijbert Brussaard, Helene Bracht Jørgensen, Gerlinde B. De Deyn
      It is well recognized that organic soil management stimulates bacterial biomass and activity and that including cover crops in the rotation increases soil organic matter (SOM). Yet, to date the relative impact of different cover crop species and organic vs. non-organic soil management on soil bacteria and fungi and on SOM quantity and quality remains to be tested. We used a long-term (10 years) full-factorial field experiment to test the combined effects of organic vs. conventional soil management with different cover crop species (oat or rye) and the legacy effects of seven soil health treatments (SHTs: treatments with compost, chitin, marigold, grass–clover, biofumigation or anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD), and fallow as control) on microbial community biomass, structure and catabolic activity and on SOM quantity and quality (dissolved organic carbon (DOC), aromaticity and water repellency). Microbial community traits were assessed using PLFA/NLFA analyses and multi-substrate induced respiration. We found that organic soil management enhanced total microbial biomass by increasing bacterial, saprotrophic and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal biomass; and increased total microbial catabolic activity, associated with maintaining high microbial efficiency (low qCO2). Effects of organic management were amplified by oat as cover crop, which enhanced the abundance of saprotrophic fungi resulting in a higher fungal:bacterial ratio. Total SOM concentration was similar among treatments, however the most easily accessible fraction, i.e. DOC, was higher in organic compared to conventional soils. Also, the aromaticity of the DOC was lower in organic than in conventional systems, which was associated with lower water repellency. There was a legacy effect of SHTs on fungal:bacterial ratio in that chitin and marigold showed higher fungal:bacterial ratio compared to compost, biofumigation and ASD even 6 years after the last application. We conclude that organic soil management enhances the abundance of all microbial groups and their total catabolic activity, associated with a higher concentration and lower aromaticity of dissolved organic matter. These effects can be enlarged by the growth of specific cover crops and the application of certain soil health treatments.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2018-05-28T15:07:33Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.04.018
      Issue No: Vol. 263 (2018)
  • Crop Drought Identification Index for winter wheat based on
           evapotranspiration in the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain, China
    • Authors: Xia Wu; Peijuan Wang; Zhiguo Huo; Dingrong Wu; Jianying Yang
      Pages: 18 - 30
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 August 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 263
      Author(s): Xia Wu, Peijuan Wang, Zhiguo Huo, Dingrong Wu, Jianying Yang
      Frequent occurrences of drought events can lead to winter wheat drought disasters. To prevent drought damage and reduce potential losses, it is important to establish an index to provide support for winter wheat drought monitoring, prevention, and mitigation, and further to understand the precise spatiotemporal characteristics of winter wheat droughts. In this study, meteorological factors, remote sensing products, disaster records, and phenophases of winter wheat in the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain were integrated to establish a Crop Drought Identification Index for winter wheat drought disasters. The CDII was expressed as the ratio of actual evapotranspiration (ET a) and crop evapotranspiration under standard conditions (ET c), in which ET a was simulated through the Two Source Energy Balance (TSEB) model and ET c was calculated based on the Penman-Monteith method using daily meteorological data and MODIS remotely sensed products. The CDII for winter wheat at different developmental stages was formed by establishing the drought sample sequences and determining the thresholds based on a Lilliefors goodness-of-fit test and the upper threshold of a 95% confidence interval. Validation showed that the identification results by CDII corresponded with 86.2% drought records. The spatial distributions of drought characteristics for winter wheat in the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain were mapped. The thresholds of the CDII at the before wintering stage, returning green–jointing stage, and heading stage were higher than that at the other two developmental stages. Drought frequency was higher across the whole Huang-Huai-Hai Plain at the before wintering stage and returning green–jointing stage of winter wheat. The regions with higher drought frequency were concentrated in the northern part of the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain at the heading stage and in the mid-western Shandong Province at the milky ripening–physiological maturity stage. This study took the drought distribution in the 2006–2007 growing season and heading stages from 2000 to 2013 as examples, the results indicated that the CDII could identify the actual drought of winter wheat reasonably. The findings indicate the CDII is useful for monitoring and assessing winter wheat drought disasters at a regional scale. It can also provide a new method for crop drought analysis.

      PubDate: 2018-06-01T10:59:25Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.05.001
      Issue No: Vol. 263 (2018)
  • Opportunities for sustainable intensification of coffee agro-ecosystems
           along an altitudinal gradient on Mt. Elgon, Uganda
    • Authors: Eric Rahn; Theresa Liebig; Jaboury Ghazoul; Piet van Asten; Peter Läderach; Philippe Vaast; Alejandra Sarmiento; Claude Garcia; Laurence Jassogne
      Pages: 31 - 40
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 August 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 263
      Author(s): Eric Rahn, Theresa Liebig, Jaboury Ghazoul, Piet van Asten, Peter Läderach, Philippe Vaast, Alejandra Sarmiento, Claude Garcia, Laurence Jassogne
      The viability of coffee farming in East Africa is endangered by multiple factors including climate change, population pressure, low yields, and coffee price volatility. Sustainable intensification (SI) through intercropping and/or agroforestry has been suggested to improve farmers’ livelihoods, facilitate adaptation of coffee production to climate change and contribute to biodiversity conservation. In order to understand how sustainable intensification through an ecosystem-based approach might offer opportunities to respond to changes in temperature and rainfall, we analyzed a variety of existing coffee agro-ecosystems that differ in vegetation structure, shade tree diversity, and socio-economic characteristics on Mt. Elgon, Uganda along an altitudinal gradient (1100–2100 m.a.s.l.). We (i) compared the performance of the agro-ecosystems regarding coffee yield and shade tree diversity, and (ii) analyzed determinants of adoption of each system. Three different coffee agro-ecosystems were identified: open canopy coffee system, coffee-banana intercropping, and coffee-tree systems, based on the vegetation structure of 144 coffee plots. The vegetation structure of the analyzed coffee systems varied along the altitudinal gradient. Banana density increased with increasing altitude, while shade tree density and diversity increased with decreasing altitude. Coffee yield also increased with increasing altitude, but this relationship varied with shade level. Coffee yields benefited from shade trees at low altitudes, while no yield differences among systems were observed at mid and high altitudes. Increasing water availability and reliance on on-farm food crops with increasing altitude were identified as the main determinants of the increasing intercropped banana densities. High temperatures and longer dry season in combination with reduced access to forest products at lower altitudes, appeared to be the main driver for increased adoption of coffee-tree systems. Furthermore, socio-economic status of farmers influenced the type of coffee system adopted; poor farmers preferred high intercropping (either with bananas and/or shade trees) to diversify income and reduce risks related to open systems, while wealthier farmers mainly owned open canopy coffee systems. Climate, farm and household size, and access to forests and markets, play a crucial role in determining what constellation of plot-level provisioning ecosystem services benefit farmers’ livelihoods on Mt. Elgon. Our findings reveal inherent trade-offs in socio-ecological conditions. Minimizing these is required for achieving the multiple objectives of livelihood improvement, sustainable intensification of coffee production, and biodiversity conservation.

      PubDate: 2018-05-28T15:07:33Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.04.019
      Issue No: Vol. 263 (2018)
  • Retaining forests within agricultural landscapes as a pathway to
           sustainable intensification: Evidence from Southern Ethiopia
    • Authors: Jean-Yves Duriaux Chavarría; Frédéric Baudron; Terry Sunderland
      Pages: 41 - 52
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 August 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 263
      Author(s): Jean-Yves Duriaux Chavarría, Frédéric Baudron, Terry Sunderland
      There are increasing calls in Africa for ‘sustainable intensification’ of agriculture with the aim of increasing productivity whilst minimizing the negative environmental and social impacts. This paper questions whether adopting a landscape approach—and in particular the retention of forests within agricultural landscapes—could fulfill these goals for smallholder farmers in some regions of Africa. Using a landscape in Southern Ethiopia comprised of three zones of increasing distance from a legally protected forestas a case study, the performance of a stratified sample of 27 farms was assessed through detailed surveys and empirical measurements. While livestock productivity was found to be higher closer to the forest, no difference was found for crop or total farm productivities across the three zones. Partial nutrient balances (a productivity dimension of farm sustainability), redundancy (a proxy of resilience), and equality in the distribution of livestock increased with increasing proximity to the forest. Dependency on external inputs also decreased with increasing proximity to the forest. We conclude that, under certain conditions, the retention of forests in agricultural landscapes, and the use of these forests for livestock grazing and fuelwood collection, may promote sustainability, greater resilience and equality of smallholder farming systems, without compromising on-farm productivity. Thus, landscape approaches may provide a pathway to sustainable intensification, and may represent a research and development arena that deserves increasing attention in the sustainable intensification debate.

      PubDate: 2018-05-28T15:07:33Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.04.020
      Issue No: Vol. 263 (2018)
  • Evaluation of leaf carbon isotopes and functional traits in avocado
           reveals water-use efficient cultivars
    • Authors: Aleyda Acosta-Rangel; Eleinis Ávila-Lovera; Mark E. De Guzman; Luis Torres; Roxana Haro; Mary Lu Arpaia; Eric Focht; Louis S. Santiago
      Pages: 60 - 66
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 August 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 263
      Author(s): Aleyda Acosta-Rangel, Eleinis Ávila-Lovera, Mark E. De Guzman, Luis Torres, Roxana Haro, Mary Lu Arpaia, Eric Focht, Louis S. Santiago
      Plant water-use efficiency (WUE) describes the ratio of carbon gain to water loss during photosynthesis. It has been shown that WUE varies among crop genotypes, and crops with high WUE can increase agricultural production in the face of finite water supply. We used measures of leaf carbon isotopic composition to compare WUE among 24 cultivars of Persea americana Mill (avocado) to determine genotypic variability in WUE, identify potentially efficient cultivars, and to better understand how breeding for yield and fruit quality has affected WUE. To validate carbon isotope measurements, we also measured leaf photosynthetic gas exchange of water and carbon, and leaf and stem functional traits of cultivars with the highest and lowest carbon isotope composition to quantify actual WUE ranges during photosynthesis. Our results indicate large variation in WUE among cultivars and coordination among functional traits that structure trade-offs in water loss and carbon gain. Identifying cultivars of subtropical tree crops that are efficient in terms of water use is critical for maintaining a high level of food production under limited water supply. Plant functional traits, including carbon isotopes, appear to be an effective tool for identifying species or genotypes with particular carbon and water economies in managed ecosystems.

      PubDate: 2018-05-28T15:07:33Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.04.021
      Issue No: Vol. 263 (2018)
  • Impact of oil palm development on the integrity of riparian vegetation of
           a tropical coastal landscape
    • Authors: Marcus Sheaves; Ross Johnston; Kelsey Miller; Paul N. Nelson
      Pages: 1 - 10
      Abstract: Publication date: 15 July 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 262
      Author(s): Marcus Sheaves, Ross Johnston, Kelsey Miller, Paul N. Nelson
      Palm oil production provides economic benefits in developing countries but its development can drastically alter landscapes. We investigated an oil palm-dominated landscape in New Britain, Papua New Guinea, and developed a simple remote sensing approach, supported by site visits and video surveys, to assess the condition and the extent of recent change in riparian zones. Riparian buffer zones were extensively modified. Riparian disturbance occurred in both corporate plantations and smallholder blocks. Older areas of oil palm were planted before riparian buffer zone protocols were established, but there has been continuing recent loss and disturbance of natural riparian vegetation, despite increasing awareness of the importance of riparian buffer zones. Explanations for this are complex. For smallholders, a rapidly growing population is increasing the need for income-generating oil palm planting and household gardens, leading to utilisation of riparian zones for oil palm, gardens or villages. Improved management of riparian zones, combined with effective monitoring, is essential to maintain or improve ecological functioning and biodiversity of aquatic ecosystems and the associated benefits for local communities. In conclusion, the simple remote sensing approach developed here, supported by ground truthing and video surveys, provides a robust and effective means of assessing riparian condition in a complex and changing landscape. The techniques could be used to assess the effectiveness of future initiatives to improve aquatic ecosystem condition in similar agriculture-dominated regions.

      PubDate: 2018-05-28T15:07:33Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.04.011
      Issue No: Vol. 262 (2018)
  • Evaluating the response of conventional and water harvesting farms to
           environmental variables using remote sensing
    • Authors: Brent J. Lloyd; Philip E. Dennison
      Pages: 11 - 17
      Abstract: Publication date: 15 July 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 262
      Author(s): Brent J. Lloyd, Philip E. Dennison
      The majority of people in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) live in rural communities and practice subsistence farming. Variations in climate and other environmental factors affect the stability of local food production. This instability makes the adoption of efficient farming techniques critical in helping farmers achieve food, income, and livelihood security. Agricultural water conservation techniques called water harvesting are being implemented to increase crop yields in SSA. These techniques have been shown to increase water productivity, nutrients, and organic matter in the soil. This paper uses high-resolution imagery to identify and differentiate between farms using conventional and water-harvesting farm methods. An ordinary least-squares regression model was used to correlate seasonal maximum normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) values with environmental factors for the different farming methods. The results suggest that water harvesting farm techniques have higher crop yields and are less dependent on precipitation than conventional farming methods. The methodology presented in this paper can be used to map use of water harvesting over large areas and monitor associated differences in productivity.

      PubDate: 2018-04-24T04:47:08Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.04.009
      Issue No: Vol. 262 (2018)
  • Effects of soil aggregate stability on soil N following land use changes
           under erodible environment
    • Authors: Guangyu Zhu; Lei Deng; Zhouping Shangguan
      Pages: 18 - 28
      Abstract: Publication date: 15 July 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 262
      Author(s): Guangyu Zhu, Lei Deng, Zhouping Shangguan
      Soil nitrogen (N) dynamics have considerable effects on the terrestrial carbon cycle, and land use changes could affect soil N through impacts on soil aggregate stability. This study selected nine sites including apple orchards of different ages and restored sites to explore the effects of soil aggregate stability on soil total N (STN), ammonium N (AN), and nitrate N (NN) following different stages of apple orchard on the Loess Plateau of China. The results showed that when compared with apple orchard sites, the restored sites had higher contents of STN and lower contents of AN and NN, but when compared with restored sites, inorganic-N storage played a more important role in the apple orchards. Following different stages of apple orchards, the STN, AN and NN contents and mean weight diameter (MWD) of soil aggregates were all improved. MWD had a negative effect on inorganic-N content at 10–30 cm soil depths but had a positive relationship with soil N at 0–10 cm soil depth. In addition, planting apple orchards destroyed soil aggregate stability in this erodible environment, but it could be restored soon after abandonment. Therefore, considering soil N and soil aggregate stability, it is feasible to plant apple trees in this area and we propose that the effects of trade-offs between soil aggregate stability and soil erosion on soil N in terraced agroecosystems should be a focus of future research.

      PubDate: 2018-04-24T04:47:08Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.04.012
      Issue No: Vol. 262 (2018)
  • Germination ecology of winter annual grasses in Mediterranean climates:
           Applications for soil cover in olive groves
    • Authors: Borja Jiménez-Alfaro; Matías Hernández-González; Eduardo Fernández-Pascual; Peter Toorop; Stephanie Frischie; Cándido Gálvez-Ramírez
      Pages: 29 - 35
      Abstract: Publication date: 15 July 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 262
      Author(s): Borja Jiménez-Alfaro, Matías Hernández-González, Eduardo Fernández-Pascual, Peter Toorop, Stephanie Frischie, Cándido Gálvez-Ramírez
      The sustainability of Mediterranean agroecosystems is threatened by several factors, soil erosion being the most important one due to poor management practices. Seeding native grasses for ground cover is an effective practice to protect soil and enhance ecosystem services, but the species to be used should be adapted to the climatic conditions and the particular requirements of each system. Here, we studied seed germination timing of six winter annual grasses: Aegilops triuncialis, Anisantha madritensis, Anisantha rubens, Bromus hordeaceus, Hordeum murinum and Trachynia distachya; with potential for ground cover in olive groves of the Iberian Peninsula. We conducted germination experiments under eight treatments of constant and alternate temperatures and seven treatments of water potential, and fitted hydro- and thermal-time models to assess possible responses of seed-based populations to regional climate. In all species, recently-harvested seeds showed high germination rates across a wide range of temperatures, while winter-stored seeds were highly tolerant to moisture stress. Our results suggest that environmental conditions rather than dormancy prevent germination of the studied species after dispersal. This germination pattern contrasts with the deep physiological dormancy described for winter annuals in temperate climates and desert regions, indicating a special adaptation of the studied populations for the long dry season in Mediterranean climates. We conclude that the regeneration ecology of these widely-distributed grasses makes them an excellent source of seeds for ground cover in Mediterranean woody crops.

      PubDate: 2018-04-24T04:47:08Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.04.013
      Issue No: Vol. 262 (2018)
  • No-tillage reduces long-term yield-scaled soil nitrous oxide emissions in
           rainfed Mediterranean agroecosystems: A field and modelling approach
    • Authors: Daniel Plaza-Bonilla; Jorge Álvaro-Fuentes; Javier Bareche; Evangelina Pareja-Sánchez; Éric Justes; Carlos Cantero-Martínez
      Pages: 36 - 47
      Abstract: Publication date: 15 July 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 262
      Author(s): Daniel Plaza-Bonilla, Jorge Álvaro-Fuentes, Javier Bareche, Evangelina Pareja-Sánchez, Éric Justes, Carlos Cantero-Martínez
      There is a strong need to identify agricultural management practices that maintain agronomic productivity while diminishing soil N2O emissions. The yield-scaled N2O emissions (YSNE) indicator can help to evaluate the adequacy of a given agricultural practice under both aspects. Long-term (18-yr) soil water and mineral N dynamics, crop biomass and yields, and 2011–2012 soil N2O emissions and ancillary variables were measured on barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) production in a tillage (conventional tillage, CT; no-tillage, NT) and N rate (0, 60 and 120 kg N ha−1) combination under rainfed Mediterranean conditions (NE Spain). Once evaluated, the STICS soil-crop model was used to simulate the 18-yr soil N2O emissions of each tillage system under increasing N rates (0, 30, 60, 90 and 120 kg N ha−1) in order to identify optimum management to reduce YSNE, being initialized with observed data. Cropping season precipitation was highly variable during the experiment, being a key regulating mechanism for crop yields and simulated soil N2O emissions. Crop yield under NT with N outperformed CT in 11 years. STICS performed reasonably well when simulating cumulative N2O emissions and ancillary variables with model efficiencies greater than 0.5. The 18-yr average simulated cumulative N2O emissions were 0.50, 0.82 and 1.09 kg N2O-N ha−1 yr−1 for CT-0, CT-60 and CT-120, respectively, and they were 0.53, 0.92 and 1.19 kg N2O-N ha−1 yr−1 for their counterparts under NT. These averages mask a large variability between years, according to precipitation. The 18-yr mean yield-scaled N2O emissions were 2.8–3.3 times lower under NT, compared to the corresponding CT treatments. Under CT, N application would increase YSNE in most years while YSNE would be more resilient to the application of increasing N rates under NT. Our work demonstrates that in rainfed Mediterranean systems NT is a win-win strategy for the equilibrium between agricultural productivity and low soil N2O emissions.

      PubDate: 2018-05-28T15:07:33Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.04.007
      Issue No: Vol. 262 (2018)
  • The evaluation of entomopathogenic nematode soil food web assemblages
           across Switzerland reveals major differences among agricultural, grassland
           and forest ecosystems
    • Authors: Geoffrey Jaffuel; Rubén Blanco-Pérez; Anna-Sofia Hug; Xavier Chiriboga; Reto Giulio Meuli; Fabio Mascher; Ted C.J. Turlings; Raquel Campos-Herrera
      Pages: 48 - 57
      Abstract: Publication date: 15 July 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 262
      Author(s): Geoffrey Jaffuel, Rubén Blanco-Pérez, Anna-Sofia Hug, Xavier Chiriboga, Reto Giulio Meuli, Fabio Mascher, Ted C.J. Turlings, Raquel Campos-Herrera
      Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) occur in natural and agricultural soils and contribute to the control of soil dwelling insect pests. Ecosystems differ in their soil parameters (pH, moisture, texture, etc.) and microhabitat conditions (presence of roots, plant cover, belowground fauna, etc.), which can affect the EPN soil food web assemblage in an unpredictable manner. By comparing soils that represent different ecological scenarios, we can link the natural distribution of the EPN to abiotic and biotic factors that shape the assemblages of soil food web to unravel the factors that determine EPN abundance and activity. We hypothesized that the EPN soil food web assemblages are affected by agricultural management practices and that this should be reflected when compared to natural ecosystems, such as forests and grasslands. By combining traditional and state-of-the-art molecular tools, we targeted 25 soil organisms to explore EPN food web in 40 Swiss georeferenced sites that can be categorized as “agricultural area”, “forest”, and “grassland”. EPNs abundance, richness and diversity did not vary among the different ecosystems. However, EPN activity (capability to kill insects) was higher in grasslands. Similarly, the free-living nematodes (FLNs) that compete with EPN for the cadavers were much more abundant in grassland, while reduced in the forest soils, suggesting contrasting conditions between these two natural areas. Nematophagous fungi (NF) were more diverse and present in agricultural areas, suggesting that the abiotic conditions in the agricultural areas may favor NF presence. Six soil properties and environmental factors shaped the EPN soil food web in Swiss soils (pH, elevation, clay content, soil water content, temperature, and rainfall), which explained 54% of the community variation in multivariate analysis. These observations were consistent with the key abiotic variables described for subtropical and Mediterranean regions. Identifying the links between the abiotic and biotic factors in very distinct areas can be the basis for predicting EPN soil food web assemblages. Such information can be of value for developing strategies to favour EPN resilience in a changing environment and enhance their capacity as biocontrol agents.

      PubDate: 2018-05-28T15:07:33Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.04.008
      Issue No: Vol. 262 (2018)
  • Dissolved organic nitrogen distribution in differently fertilized paddy
           soil profiles: Implications for its potential loss
    • Authors: San’an Nie; Lixia Zhao; Xiumei Lei; Rubab Sarfraz; Shihe Xing
      Pages: 58 - 64
      Abstract: Publication date: 15 July 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 262
      Author(s): San’an Nie, Lixia Zhao, Xiumei Lei, Rubab Sarfraz, Shihe Xing
      Dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) is recognized as an important nitrogen (N) pool in soil N cycling, but its role in the N cycling of paddy soils, which are intensively fertilized, is not fully predicted. In this study, we investigated DON in flooded layer and soil solution along soil profiles with suction cups in fertilized paddy fields. The DON concentration showed a relative decrease in the deeper layer of paddy soil, while free amino acid N (FAA-N) exhibited a drastic increase along with nutrient profiles of soil. In the upper layer (0–20 cm), DON accounted for 54–64% of total dissolved N (TDN), but this value increased up to 63–97% in the deeper layer (40–60 cm). Low concentrations (9.6–15.0 μg L−1) of FAA-N and low percentage of FAA-N/DON (0.1–0.2%) were observed in the upper layer, but higher concentrations (111–307 μg L−1) and increased percentage (8–36%) were examined in the deeper layer. The high percentage of DON/TDN indicated that DON was the predominant N pool in the deeper layer. Concentrations of DON were significantly and positively correlated with organic matter, total N, and electrical conductivity (EC), while negatively related to soil pH. Additionally, capillary porosity, air porosity, bulk density and particle density were also found to be significantly associated with DON. We suggest the DON and FAA in the paddy field could be an important source for N leaching, which is most strongly related with soil nutrient profiles and physical properties. It is estimated that a total loss of 4.0 kg N ha−1 yr−1 is potentially linked to DON in the paddy field, which implied that ca. 3.35% of the applied N fertilizers could be lost via DON.

      PubDate: 2018-05-28T15:07:33Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.04.015
      Issue No: Vol. 262 (2018)
  • Continuous application of inorganic and organic fertilizers over 47 years
           in paddy soil alters the bacterial community structure and its influence
           on rice production
    • Authors: Upendra Kumar; Amaresh Kumar Nayak; Mohammad Shahid; Vadakattu V.S.R. Gupta; P. Panneerselvam; Sangita Mohanty; Megha Kaviraj; Anjani Kumar; Dibyendu Chatterjee; B. Lal; P. Gautam; Rahul Tripathi; B.B. Panda
      Pages: 65 - 75
      Abstract: Publication date: 15 July 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 262
      Author(s): Upendra Kumar, Amaresh Kumar Nayak, Mohammad Shahid, Vadakattu V.S.R. Gupta, P. Panneerselvam, Sangita Mohanty, Megha Kaviraj, Anjani Kumar, Dibyendu Chatterjee, B. Lal, P. Gautam, Rahul Tripathi, B.B. Panda
      Soil bacterial communities are considered as an essential member of the microbial community, contributing to soil health. Continuous application of chemical fertilizers alters the bacterial community structure (BCS) thereby disturbing the soil biogeochemical cycling. The present study highlights the 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing-based variation of BCS through Illumina-MiSeq® in a 47 years old long-term fertilized paddy soil and its relation with grain yield (GY), straw biomass (SB) and various soil properties. The experiment comprising six treatments: control (no fertilizers), nitrogen (N), nitrogen + phosphorus (P) + potassium (K), farmyard manure (FYM), FYM + N and FYM + NPK. Data on rice crop performance indicated that GY and SB significantly (p ≤ 0.05) enhanced by 45.1%–49.3% and 36.9–39.4% in FYM + NPK compared to control. Relative abundance of bacterial phyla varied across inorganic and organic fertilizer treatments. Dominant phyla across all treatments were Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Chloroflexi, and Firmicutes, accounting for about 80–85% of total operational taxonomic units (OTUs). N application alone over 47 years encouraged certain bacterial phyla (Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Nitrospira) while major (Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria and Cyanobacteria) and minor (Fibrobacteres, Spirochaetes, TM7 and GNO4) bacterial phyla were found to be suppressed compared to other treatments. Moreover, continuous use of chemical N in paddy soil, considerably suppressed some diazotrophs taxa Burkholderiales, Enterobacteriaceae, and other taxa Kaistobacter, Anaeromyxobacter, Bdellovibrio, and MND1. Redundancy analysis coupled with principal component analysis revealed that BCS was significantly influenced by soil pH and presence of higher nitrogen content. Interestingly, the highest proportion of bacterial OTUs was recorded in balanced fertilizer (NPK) (without FYM) and therefore, this result suggested for the first time that continuous application of NPK encouraged the beneficial bacterial community without compromising of GY and SB. Overall, the present study indicated that continuous application of N and NPK with or without FYM for more than four decades in paddy soil, encouraged certain BCS whereas, N application alone suppressed certain beneficial bacterial phyla, resulting in the alteration of soil biodiversity and rice productivity.

      PubDate: 2018-05-28T15:07:33Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.04.016
      Issue No: Vol. 262 (2018)
  • Effects of herbicide and nitrogen fertilizer on non-target plant
           reproduction and indirect effects on pollination in Tanacetum vulgare
    • Authors: Y.L. Dupont; B. Strandberg; C. Damgaard
      Pages: 76 - 82
      Abstract: Publication date: 15 July 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 262
      Author(s): Y.L. Dupont, B. Strandberg, C. Damgaard
      Herbicides and nitrogen fertilizers are widely used in intensively grown agricultural areas. Non-target plants growing in habitats adjacent to conventional fields may be exposed to herbicides by spray drift and misplacement of nitrogen fertilizers. Whereas sub-lethal effects of herbicides have previously been documented, combined effects of nitrogen and sub-lethal herbicide exposure are less well known. Moreover, indirect effects on pollination and fruit set following effects of agrochemicals on flowering remain largely unexplored. In the current study, we investigate combined effects of herbicide and nitrogen fertilizer on reproductive features of Tanacetum vulgare (Asteraceae). The study was carried out in an experimental set-up, in which plots of 7 × 7 m were treated with one of six treatments: four levels of the herbicide glyphosate (0%, 1%, 5%, and 25% of label rate of 1440 g a.i. ha−1) without nitrogen in addition to two levels of herbicide (0% and 25%) with added nitrogen (100 kg N ha−1 year−1). The set-up had a randomized full-factorial design with 10 replicates of each treatment. We monitored floral density per plot every fortnight during flowering, stem height at flowering, diameter of capitula, visitation rate and diversity of flower-visitors, in addition to weight per seed and total seed weight per seed head. Glyphosate, nitrogen and their interaction affected plant reproductive features, in particular, floral density and flowering phenology. Glyphosate negatively affected floral density, and flowering was severely delayed by glyphosate application (10.5 days delay per 100 g a.i. ha−1 year−1). Although nitrogen partly mitigated reduction in floral abundance, the delay in flowering was amplified when nitrogen was added. Effects of glyphosate on flowering were mirrored in reduced flower visitation by insects and reduced seed set. These effects occurred even when plants were exposed to glyphosate two months before onset of flowering. Our results show that misplacement of agro-chemicals markedly changes floral abundance and flowering phenology of non-target plants, which may secondarily impact pollination interactions and reproduction of wild plants in agricultural landscapes.

      PubDate: 2018-05-28T15:07:33Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2018.04.014
      Issue No: Vol. 262 (2018)
  • Potentials to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from Swiss agriculture
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 October 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 265
      Author(s): Magdalena Necpalova, Juhwan Lee, Colin Skinner, Lucie Büchi, Raphael Wittwer, Andreas Gattinger, Marcel van der Heijden, Paul Mäder, Raphael Charles, Alfred Berner, Jochen Mayer, Johan Six
      There is an urgent need to identify and evaluate management practices for their biophysical potential to maintain productivity under climate change while mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from individual cropping systems under specific pedo-climatic conditions. Here, we examined, through DayCent modeling, the long-term impact of soil management practices and their interactions on soil GHG emissions and GHG intensity from Swiss cropping systems. Based on experimental data from four long-term experimental sites in Switzerland (Therwil, Frick, Changins, and Reckenholz), we robustly parameterized and evaluated the model for simulating crop productivity, soil C dynamics and soil N2O emissions across a range of management practices and pedo-climatic conditions. Net soil GHG emissions (NSGHGE) were derived from changes in soil C, N2O emissions and CH4 oxidation. Soils under conventional management acted as a net source of soil GHG emissions (1361–1792 kg CO2eq ha−1 yr−1) and NSGHGE were dominated by N2O (50–63%). Reduced tillage and no-tillage reduced long-term NSGHGE by up to 31 and 58%, respectively. Organic farming, represented by organic fertilization, reduced NSGHGE by up to 31% compared to systems based solely on mineral fertilization. Replacement of slurries with a composted FYM led to an additional reduction in NSGHGE by 46%, although our approach considered only soil GHG emissions and thus did not take into account GHG emissions from the composting process. Cover cropping did not significantly influence NSGHGE, however vetch tended to reduce NSGHGE (-19%). The highest mitigation potential was associated with organic farming plus reduced tillage management, it reduced long-term NSGHGE by up to 128%. Soil C sequestration accounted, on average, for 89% of GHG mitigation potentials, consequently N2O dominated NSGHGE across all treatments and sites (60 − 80%). This indicates that these mitigation potentials are time limited and reversible, if the management is not maintained, in contrast to the reduction in N2O emissions, which is considered permanent. Not all the management practices sustained crop yields. Nevertheless, composting of organic manures, reduced tillage and no-tillage effectively reduced NSGHGE and GHG intensity without a noticeable yield reduction. Our results suggest that implementation of the above soil management practices in Swiss cropping systems have a considerable potential for climate change mitigation, although time-limited.

      PubDate: 2018-06-18T22:37:50Z
  • Upscaling point measurements of N2O emissions into the orchard scale under
           drip and microsprinkler irrigation
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 October 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 265
      Author(s): Shahar Baram, Sharon Dabach, Daniela Jerszurki, Christine M. Stockert, David R. Smart
      Agricultural activity is one of the major sources of nitrous oxide (N2O) emission into the natural environment. Yet, due to the soil’s spatial heterogeneities it is hard to accurately upscale point N2O emission measurements into the orchard scale. This study aims to introduce a simple, yet robust, way for upscaling point N2O emission measurements into the orchard scale, under drip and micro-sprinkler irrigation systems. Surface point measurements of N2O emissions were performed at five distances from drip and micro-sprinkler emitters in two almond orchards, following irrigation and fertigation events. Principal component analysis (PCA) and linear regression were used to study the correlations between the soil water filled pore-space (WFPS), and subsurface N2O, NO3 − and NH4 + concentrations down to depth of 60 cm. The correlation tables indicated that most of the N2O emission resulted from microbial nitrification in the top soil (< 10 cm). However, in many cases the correlations did not provide meaningful explanations to the relations between the subsurface parameters and the surface N2O emission flux. It was suggested that the main limitation of the analysis results from the current soil sampling method, where soil samples are not taken from the profile inside the collar in-order to keep the soil profile undisturbed over long measuring periods. In the microsprinkler irrigation, relative water application depth of the emitter, showed strong positive linear correlation to the soil NH4 + concentration and surface N2O emission flux. These correlations could be used for upscaling the point measurements into the tree and orchard scale. In the drip irrigation, the N2O emission flux was found to follow the water and NH4 + distribution pattern, and could be upscaled to the tree and orchard level using a sinusoidal function using only measurement of the peak emission and the radius of the wetting pattern. These results improve current understanding on the dynamics of N2O production in orchards irrigated with micro-irrigation systems in arid and semi-arid ecosystems and might contribute to modeling of N2O emissions using less rigorous methods.

      PubDate: 2018-06-18T22:37:50Z
  • Does maize and legume crop residue mulch matter in soil organic carbon
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 October 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 265
      Author(s): J. Chen, M. Heiling, C. Resch, M. Mbaye, R. Gruber, G. Dercon
      Soil management techniques, such as mulching, are used to enhance soil organic carbon sequestration. However, we demonstrate that the potential of crop residue mulching to increase soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration varies by cropping system and soil type in Austrian agricultural soils. Effects of mulch (as harvested crop residues applied at 1.0 t C ha−1) on soil and microbial carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) and soil δ13C were measured in an Austrian Cambisol field experiment with sole maize or vetch or vetch-maize rotation cropping systems after five years with or without mulching to elucidate how SOC is affected. The direct role of mulch on SOC in different soil types was also investigated in a similar greenhouse mesocosm study with controlled moisture using the same Cambisols and an Austrian agricultural Chernozem. Only sole maize cropping in the field experiment resulted in higher SOC with mulching and when legumes were included in a legume-maize rotation SOC did not improve. Mulching in the field experiment only resulted in higher SOC in the top 0–5 cm of soils with sole maize cropping (by 22%) compared to soils without mulch. Although mulch did not increase SOC in vetch-maize rotation, the δ13C of SOC was less negative with mulch indicating larger C contribution from maize than vetch mulch. After four years of annual soybean-maize rotation in the mesocosm experiment, no significant differences in SOC were observed in Cambisols with or without mulch. Again, δ13C of both soil types was less negative with mulching indicating a larger C contribution from maize than soybean mulch. No relationships between microbial biomass C and N and SOC were observed in either experiment and only soil N concentration was positively correlated with SOC. Together these studies indicate that maize can increase SOC when crop residues are applied in Austrian Cambisols but that inclusion of legume production and legume mulch in rotation can mute these benefits.

      PubDate: 2018-06-18T22:37:50Z
  • Long-term socioecological trajectories of agro-food systems revealed by N
           and P flows in French regions from 1852 to 2014
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 October 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 265
      Author(s): J. Le Noë, G. Billen, F. Esculier, J. Garnier
      We present a quantitative description of the N and P flows characterizing the agro-food system metabolism of 33 agricultural regions in France and their time evolution since the middle of the 19th century. The data were interpreted in terms of connection between crop production, livestock breeding, human nutrition and trade of agricultural goods, and were linked to their historical background. Until the early 20th century, the integrated crop and livestock farming model dominated everywhere, and the slow increase in crop production was only possible because of an increase in livestock density. Specialized cash crop farming systems appeared in the central Paris basin only in the first half of the 20th century together with the increase in the use of industrial fertilizers. Only after WWll, under the pressure of strong interventionist policies, did specialization of French territories lead to five types of systems, favoring their openness and integration into the international market, with harmful environmental impacts. The 1980s were marked by a policy shift towards more liberalism, which reinforced specialization. However, greater environmental concern stabilized or decreased nutrient losses, while maintaining largely open biogeochemical cycles.
      Graphical abstract image

      PubDate: 2018-06-18T22:37:50Z
  • Microclimate has a greater influence than macroclimate on the availability
           of infective Haemonchus contortus larvae on herbage in a warmed temperate
    • Authors: Tong Wang; Hannah Rose Vineer Alison Morrison Jan van Wyk
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 October 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 265
      Author(s): Tong Wang, Hannah Rose Vineer, Alison Morrison, Jan A. van Wyk, Muhammad-Bashir Bolajoko, David J. Bartley, Eric R. Morgan
      Global climate change is altering epidemiological patterns of gastrointestinal nematode infections in grazing livestock, including through effects of temperature and moisture on the availability of infective third-stage larvae (L3). While considerable experimental effort has been devoted to the influences of climate on L3 development and survival in major nematode species, knowledge of effects on L3 migration out of faeces and onto herbage is more limited. In this study, we examined elements of this process for Haemonchus contortus in controlled and natural climates. The effect of temperature on migration rate from faeces was quantified and found to peak at 15 °C. In glasshouses, a 3 °C difference in mean temperature failed to produce a statistically significant difference in the number of L3 reaching herbage after a single rainfall event, and faecal moisture content (FMC) did not decline significantly more rapidly at the higher temperatures. Most larvae left the faeces and reached the grass within 3 h after simulated rainfall. On natural pasture in temperate summer, FMC was strongly affected by microclimate, with shade and long grass both significantly slowing drying. Results suggest that microclimate is important in determining FMC and larval migration, and that its effects can be greater than those of macroclimate, e.g. moderate differences in average ambient temperature. More work is needed to develop a full predictive understanding of larval availability in natural settings, which is the product of interacting factors acting on overlapping parasite cohorts.

      PubDate: 2018-06-07T11:15:51Z
  • Response of lepidopteran herbivore communities to crop management in
           coffee plantations
    • Authors: Inari Sosa-Aranda; del-Val Gerardo Denise Arroyo-Lambaer Adriana Uscanga Karina Boege
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 October 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 265
      Author(s): Inari Sosa-Aranda, Ek del-Val, Gerardo Hernández-Martínez, Denise Arroyo-Lambaer, Adriana Uscanga, Karina Boege
      Although the conservation potential of low input coffee plantations has been widely proved, the effect of management intensity on insect herbivores and particularly caterpillar communities has been scarcely studied. We used a management intensity quantitative index to assess changes in leaf damage, abundance of all herbivores and caterpillar species richness, abundance, evenness and community species composition along a management intensity gradient in coffee plantations. There was no correlation between management intensity and the abundance of all herbivore guilds, but there was a negative relationship between management intensity and caterpillar abundance and species richness. Management intensity was positively related to caterpillar species evenness but did not influence species composition, which was rather influenced by climatic seasonality. We found 202 lepidopteran morphospecies, of which 128 fed on coffee plants. Despite a greater caterpillar abundance and richness, mean leaf damage to coffee plants was lower in plantations with a low management intensity index. Overall, we suggest that low and intermediate management intensity and the preservation of a diverse shade canopy can contribute to the conservation of Lepidoptera, without representing significant amounts of leaf damage to coffee plants.

      PubDate: 2018-06-07T11:15:51Z
  • Nitrogen deposition induced significant increase of N2O emissions in an
           dry alpine meadow on the central Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau
    • Authors: Yulong Yan; Hasbagan Ganjurjav Guozheng Yan Liang Shicheng Luobu Danjiu
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 October 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 265
      Author(s): Yulong Yan, Hasbagan Ganjurjav, Guozheng Hu, Yan Liang, Yu Li, Shicheng He, Luobu Danjiu, Jie Yang, Qingzhu Gao
      Atmospheric concentrations of nitrous oxide (N2O) have increased over the last 150 years due to human activities. Soils are important source of N2O where its production is largely regulated by biological processes. Nitrogen (N) deposition can alter the processes of autotrophic nitrification and denitrification, thus affecting the rate and direction of the soil N2O exchange with the atmosphere. It is obvious that atmospheric N deposition has influenced a dry alpine meadow in the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau (QTP). Therefore, we investigated the effects of N deposition on the annual N2O emissions in an alpine meadow of the QTP. The N2O flux was measured for 2 years using static chambers and gas chromatography methods at four treatments (N0, background level; N7, add 7 kg N ha−1 yr−1; N20, add 20 kg N ha−1 yr−1; N40, add 40 kg N ha−1 yr−1). We found that high N deposition increased the N2O flux, not only in the growing season but also in winter and the spring thaw period. The average annual N2O fluxes at N0 and N40 plots were 3.1 and 6.1 μg m−2 h−1, respectively. Compared with N0, the average annual N2O fluxes increased at N7, N20, and N40 plots by 13.7%, 47.6%, and 98.7%, respectively, the N2O fluxes in N40 plots increased by 113.6%, 41.6%, and 78.7% during the growing season, winter and spring thaw period, respectively. The emission of N2O during the growing season, winter and spring thaw period accounted for 63.2%, 29.9% and 6.9% of annual total emission of N2O, respectively. The N2O flux correlated significantly with air temperature, soil temperature, soil water content, total nitrogen, total organic carbon, and soil NH4 +–N content in the alpine meadow.

      PubDate: 2018-06-07T11:15:51Z
  • Co-occurrence patterns between plant-parasitic nematodes and arbuscular
           mycorrhizal fungi are driven by environmental factors
    • Authors: Bruno Ferreira; Marcus Santana Renan Macedo Juliana Silva Marco A.C.
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 October 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 265
      Author(s): Bruno S. Ferreira, Marcus V. Santana, Renan S. Macedo, Juliana O. Silva, Marco A.C. Carneiro, Mara R. Rocha
      The relationships between co-occurrence patterns of plant-parasitic nematodes and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (AMFs) are not fully understood. Few field studies assess co-occurrence patterns, evidencing the lack of information on soil-limiting conditions for favorable management of AMFs. The aim was therefore to evaluate co-occurrence patterns between plant-parasitic nematodes and AMFs and the probable environmental conditions that were associated to these patterns. We sampled three sites in each of ten fields and collected an abundance of nematodes and AMF spores and physical-chemical soil data. We evaluated co-occurrence patterns using combinations between nematodes and AMFs in both samplings (soil and roots) through probabilistic models. We also performed a redundancy analysis to evaluate which environmental variables were correlated to negative and positive patterns found between both groups. Plant-parasitic nematodes and AMFs showed negative co-occurrence patterns on the root-rhizospheric soil interface as a result of the competition. In the soil, the groups showed an apparent differentiation of niche, and the competition occurs within each group. Soil variation, mainly on alterations of potassium, phosphorus and moisture are the main characteristics that are associated to changes in the assemblages of these groups. Co-occurrence patterns indicated in the present study show an important pathway to conservative management of the soil and improvement of the crop growth in agricultural landscapes.

      PubDate: 2018-06-07T11:15:51Z
  • Brachypodium distachyon, Sinapis alba, and controlled spontaneous
           vegetation as groundcovers: Soil protection and modeling decomposition
    • Authors: M.A. Torres; Carbonell-Bojollo
      Abstract: Publication date: 1 October 2018
      Source:Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 265
      Author(s): A. Rodríguez-Lizana, M.A. Repullo-Ruibérriz de Torres, R. Carbonell-Bojollo, C. Alcántara, R. Ordóñez-Fernández
      Mediterranean olive groves are threatened by soil loss. Groundcovers are increasingly used to protect soil and have proved to be efficient regarding erosive processes. The method most frequently used by farmers is a continuous spontaneous soil cover. However, the continued use of the same kind of groundcover creates problems such as soil compaction and a change in the weed flora in olive groves. For this reason, a new field approach involving the use of new groundcovers in olive groves was conducted on a Vertic haploxerept over a 4-year period (2008–2011). Brachypodium distachyon L., Sinapis alba L. subsp. Mairei and a spontaneous soil cover were studied to assess their soil protection potential and on-field decomposition. The first two groundcovers are grass and cruciferous species that have the potential for being included in future rotations by farmers. The results show that these new species were promising since, on average, they produced a large residue amount after harvest and were able to protect the soil from erosion until a new cover was grown, with 6691 kg ha−1 yr−1 (Brachypodium) and 6171 kg ha−1 yr−1 (Sinapis) versus 4839 kg ha−1 yr−1 (spontaneous soil cover). The residue amount after harvest differed among species (p = .008), with the quantity in Brachypodium being significantly higher than in the spontaneous soil cover, while Sinapis did not differ significantly from the other groundcovers. The Rickman model and the Steiner model were tested under realistic field conditions in a study of modeled on-field decomposition. Three temporal scales were employed: degree-day, decomposition day, and the less-used corrected degree-day. The degree-days and corrected degree-days scales yielded the best results with the Rickman model, fitting adequately to experimental data. Good values were achieved for the coefficient of efficiency (E between 0.59 and 0.78) and Pearson’s correlation coefficient (r xy ranging from 0.82 to 0.88) between simulated and measured values, despite the very high variability shown in the field data. The use of Brachypodium is much more suitable for protecting soil than the continued use of a spontaneous soil cover. This approach could help develop better practices in conservation agriculture, prevent land degradation, and ensure sustainability.

      PubDate: 2018-06-07T11:15:51Z
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