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Soil compaction and its effects on soil microbial communities in Capsicum growing soil


Ishak, L and McHenry, MT and Brown, PH, Soil compaction and its effects on soil microbial communities in Capsicum growing soil, Acta Horticulturae: Proceedings of the XXIX International Horticultural Congress on Horticulture (IHC2014), 17-22 August 2014, Brisbane, Australia, pp. 123-130. ISSN 0567-7572 (2016) [Refereed Conference Paper]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 International Society for Horticultural Science.

DOI: doi:10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1123.17


Soil compaction is a serious problem confronting horticultural production systems globally and occurs more readily in tropical systems as a consequence of wet-dry climatic oscillations in these regions. Soil compaction alters soil microbial structure and function as a result of the limitation of air permeability and oxygen availability, which has implications for soil nutrition and soil-borne disease. This study investigates the influence of compaction on soil microbial functional diversity and activity in the presence and absence of capsicum plant roots, and with the addition of compost or changes to irrigation regimes, both of which are management strategies traditionally designed to reduce compaction in the paddock. Experimental treatments of four levels of soil compaction were established, with or without capsicum seedlings planted into the compacted media. A further experimental set-up, with two water treatments (optimal or low) and compost additions in factorial combination with compaction was also established. The findings revealed that microbial functional diversity and activity was higher in uncompacted bare (unplanted) soil compared to soil with the presence of capsicum plant roots. Further, there were lower levels of activity at higher soil compaction levels, and lower functional diversity. The results suggest that compaction is a significant driver of soil microbial health in sub-tropical horticultural systems, particularly when soil moisture and soil carbon is low, and that careful ongoing management of compaction will be required.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:compaction, soil microbial activity, functional diversity, irrigation, disease, capsicum
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Agriculture, land and farm management
Research Field:Sustainable agricultural development
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:McHenry, MT (Dr Melinda McHenry)
ID Code:118080
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2017-07-04
Last Modified:2018-04-05

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