Traceability of compost amendment to soils: effects on soil C status and microbial community



Background
The project makes use of a long-term experiment that has been established in 1992 by the Austrian Agency for Food Safety, Institute of Agrobiology, Linz, where the effects of different composts (from organic waste, green cuts, manure and sewage sludge) on crop yield are investigated.

Hypotheses
1. Compost application results in an increase in soil organic carbon (soil as a C sink), and the higher the lignocellulose content is, the higher will be the increase in soil organic C.
2. Provided the nutrient supply is adequate, plant productivity is related to microbial diversity.
3. Compost application causes a long-term shift in microbial community composition.
4. Application of certain composts results in a typical microbial signature, both in terms of substrate utilisation patterns and in terms of structural markers (physiological and taxonomic imprints).

Preliminary findings
Composts leave physiological imprints, while the molecular imprints are hard to detect.

Publications
Poster on "Traceability of AOB in Compost-Treated Soils", presented at the BAGECO Symposium 2005 in Lyon => see pdf




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