Biology and Fertility of Soils

http://link.springer.com/journal/374

List of Papers (Total 59)

Biochar persistence, priming and microbial responses to pyrolysis temperature series

Biochar and its properties can be significantly altered according to how it is produced, and this has ramifications towards how biochar behaves once added to soil. We produced biochars from corncob and miscanthus straw via different methods (slow pyrolysis, hydrothermal and flash carbonization) and temperatures to assess how carbon cycling and soil microbial communities were ...

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Symbiotic N nutrition, C assimilation, and plant water use efficiency in Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea L. Verdc) grown in farmers’ fields in South Africa, measured using 15N and 13C natural abundance

Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea L. Verdc) is the second most important indigenous food legume in Africa. The aim of this study was to evaluate plant growth, N2 fixation, N contribution, C accumulation, and plant water relations of Bambara groundnut grown in 26 farmers’ fields in Mpumalanga Province of South Africa. The data revealed marked (p ≤ 0.05) differences in plant dry ...

Chemical and microbial activation energies of soil organic matter decomposition

Present concepts emphasize that substrate quality exerts an important control over substrate decomposability and temperature sensitivity of heterotrophic soil respiration (Rh). In this context, soil organic matter (SOM) quality is defined by its molecular and structural complexity and determines the ease by which substrate is oxidized. However, temperature not only affects SOM ...

Herbivory of an invasive slug in a model grassland community can be affected by earthworms and mycorrhizal fungi

Invasion of non-native species is among the top threats for the biodiversity and functioning of native and agricultural ecosystems worldwide. We investigated whether the herbivory of the slug Arion vulgaris (formerly Arion lusitanicus; Gastropoda), that is listed among the 100 worst alien species in Europe, is affected by soil organisms commonly present in terrestrial ecosystems ...

Subsurface earthworm casts can be important soil microsites specifically influencing the growth of grassland plants

Earthworms (Annelida: Oligochaeta) deposit several tons per hectare of casts enriched in nutrients and/or arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and create a spatial and temporal soil heterogeneity that can play a role in structuring plant communities. However, while we begin to understand the role of surface casts, it is still unclear to what extent plants utilize subsurface casts. We ...