Browsing by Subject "CROP"

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  • Lammel, Daniel R.; Barth, Gabriel; Ovaskainen, Otso; Cruz, Leonardo M.; Zanatta, Josileia A.; Ryo, Masahiro; de Souza, Emanuel M.; Pedrosa, Fabio O. (2018)
    Background: pH is frequently reported as the main driver for prokaryotic community structure in soils. However, pH changes are also linked to "spillover effects" on other chemical parameters (e.g., availability of Al, Fe, Mn, Zn, and Cu) and plant growth, but these indirect effects on the microbial communities are rarely investigated. Usually, pH also co-varies with some confounding factors, such as land use, soil management (e.g., tillage and chemical inputs), plant cover, and/or edapho-climatic conditions. So, a more comprehensive analysis of the direct and indirect effects of pH brings a better understanding of the mechanisms driving prokaryotic (archaeal and bacterial) community structures. Results: We evaluated an agricultural soil pH gradient (from 4 to 6, the typical range for tropical farms), in a liming gradient with confounding factors minimized, investigating relationships between prokaryotic communities (16S rRNA) and physical-chemical parameters (indirect effects). Correlations, hierarchical modeling of species communities (HMSC), and random forest (RF) modeling indicated that both direct and indirect effects of the pH gradient affected the prokaryotic communities. Some OTUs were more affected by the pH changes (e.g., some Actinobacteria), while others were more affected by the indirect pH effects (e.g., some Proteobacteria). HMSC detected a phylogenetic signal related to the effects. Both HMSC and RF indicated that the main indirect effect was the pH changes on the availability of some elements (e.g., Al, Fe, and Cu), and secondarily, effects on plant growth and nutrient cycling also affected the OTUs. Additionally, we found that some of the OTUs that responded to pH also correlated with CO2, CH4, and N2O greenhouse gas fluxes. Conclusions: Our results indicate that there are two distinct pH-related mechanisms driving prokaryotic community structures, the direct effect and "spillover effects" of pH (indirect effects). Moreover, the indirect effects are highly relevant for some OTUs and consequently for the community structure; therefore, it is a mechanism that should be further investigated in microbial ecology.
  • Epie, Kenedy E.; Santanen, Arja; Makela, Pirjo S. A.; Stoddard, Frederick L. (2018)
    Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus L.) produces substantial shoots not used as food. To test its potential as a sustainable bioenergy crop, we studied the effects of synthetic fertilizer and intercropped legumes as nitrogen (N) sources on the growth, aboveground biomass dry matter yield and energy qualities of this crop. Plant height, leaf area index (LAI), SPAD-value, biomass yield, ash content and mineral element composition were determined. Mean aboveground biomass yields were not significantly affected by N source (legume intercrops and synthetic fertilizer) and ranged from 13 to 17 t ha(-1). Remarkably, plants given no fertilizer yielded equally to plants given 90 N kg ha(-1). These results confirm that Jerusalem artichoke, compared to other energy crops, have less need for N and can potentially be sustained by N fixing legumes in an intercropped system. This could reduce or eliminate production and environmental cost in cultivation of biomass feedstock for energy use.
  • Laine, Merjo Piia Päivikki; Rütting, Tobias; Alakukku, Laura Elina; Palojärvi, Ansa; Strömmer, Rauni Hannele (2018)
    No-till is considered an agricultural practice beneficial for the environment as soil erosion is decreased compared to ploughed soils. For on overall evaluation of the benefits and disadvantages of this crop production method, understanding the soil nutrient cycle is also of importance. The study was designed to obtain information about gross soil nitrogen (N) process rates in boreal no-tilled and mouldboard ploughed spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) fields after autumn harvesting. In situ soil gross N transformation process rates were quantified for the 5 cm topsoil in 9 days' incubation experiment using N-15 pool dilution and tracing techniques and a numerical N-15 tracing model. Gross N mineralization into ammonium (NH4+) and NH4+ immobilization were the most important N transformation processes in the soils. The gross mineralization rate was 14% and NH4+ immobilization rate 64% higher in no-till than in ploughing. Regardless of the faster mineralization, the gross rate of NH4+ oxidation into nitrate (NO3-) in no-till was one order of magnitude lower compared the ploughing. The results indicate that the no-tilled soils have the potential to decrease the risk for NO3- leaching due to slower NH4+ oxidation.
  • Aubriot, Xavier; Knapp, Sandra; Syfert, Mindy; Poczai, Péter; Buerki, Sven (2018)
    • While brinjal eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) is the second most important solanaceaous vegetable crop, we lack firm knowledge of its evolutionary relationships. This in turn limits efficient use of crop wild relatives in eggplant improvement. Here, we examine the hypothesis of linear step-wise expansion of the eggplant group from Africa to Asia. • We use museum collections to generate nuclear and full-plastome data for all species of the eggplant clade. We combine a phylogenomic approach with distribution data to infer a biogeographic scenario for the clade. • The eggplant clade has Pleistocene origins in northern Africa. Dispersions to tropical Asia gave rise to Solanum insanum, the wild progenitor of the eggplant, and to Africa distinct lineages of widespread and southern-African species. Results suggest that spread of species to southern Africa is recent and was likely facilitated by large mammal herbivores feeding on Solanum fruits (African elephant, impala). • Rather than a linear ‘Out Of Africa’ sequence, our results are more consistent with an initial event into Asia, and subsequent wide dispersion and differentiation across Africa driven by large mammalian herbivores. Our evolutionary results will impact future work on eggplant domestication and use of wild relatives in breeding of this increasingly important solanaceous crop.
  • Ekroos, Johan; Tiainen, Juha; Seimola, Tuomas; Herzon, Irina (2019)
    Context The current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the European Union includes three greening measures, which are partly intended to benefit farmland biodiversity. However, the relative biodiversity effects of the greening measures, including joint effects of landscape context, are not well understood. Objectives We studied the effects of increasing crop diversity, proportions of production grasslands and fallows, corresponding to CAP greening measures, on open farmland bird diversity, whilst controlling for the effects of distance to forests, field edge density and proportion of built-up areas. Methods We surveyed open farmland birds using territory mapping in Southern Finland. We modelled effects of greening measures and landscape structure on farmland birds (7642 territories) using generalised linear mixed models. Results Increasing proportions of grasslands increased farmland bird species richness and diversity in open farmland, whereas increasing proportions of fallows increased bird diversity. Increasing crop diversity benefited individual species, but not species richness or diversity. Increasing field edge densities consistently increased the species richness of all farmland species, in-field nesters and non-crop nesters, as well as total farmland bird diversity. The relative effect of edge density was much stronger compared to the three greening measures. Conclusions Our results show that promoting fallows and grasslands, in particular grazed grasslands and various types of semi-natural grasslands, has the highest potential to benefit farmland bird diversity. Maintaining or increasing field edge densities, currently not supported, seems to be of even more benefit. In open farmland, with little or no field edges, fallows and grasslands are particularly beneficial.