Applying the aboveground-belowground interaction concept in agriculture: Spatio-temporal scales matter

G.F. Veen*, E.R. Jasper Wubs, Richard D. Bardgett, Edmundo Barrios, Mark A. Bradford, Sabrina Carvalho, Gerlinde B. De Deyn, Franciska T. de Vries, Ken E. Giller, David Kleijn, Douglas A. Landis, Walter A.H. Rossing, Maarten Schrama, Johan Six, Paul C. Struik, Stijn van Gils, Johannes S.C. Wiskerke, Wim H. van der Putten, Louise E.M. Vet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Interactions between aboveground and belowground organisms are important drivers of plant growth and performance in natural ecosystems. Making practical use of such above-belowground biotic interactions offers important opportunities for enhancing the sustainability of agriculture, as it could favor crop growth, nutrient supply, and defense against biotic and abiotic stresses. However, the operation of above-and belowground organisms at different spatial and temporal scales provides important challenges for application in agriculture. Aboveground organisms, such as herbivores and pollinators, operate at spatial scales that exceed individual fields and are highly variable in abundance within growing seasons. In contrast, pathogenic, symbiotic, and decomposer soil biota operate at more localized spatial scales from individual plants to patches of square meters, however, they generate legacy effects on plant performance that may last from single to multiple years. The challenge is to promote pollinators and suppress pests at the landscape and field scale, while creating positive legacy effects of local plant-soil interactions for next generations of plants. Here, we explore the possibilities to improve utilization of above-belowground interactions in agro-ecosystems by considering spatio-temporal scales at which aboveground and belowground organisms operate. We identified that successful integration of above-belowground biotic interactions initially requires developing crop rotations and intercropping systems that create positive local soil legacy effects for neighboring as well subsequent crops. These configurations may then be used as building blocks to design landscapes that accommodate beneficial aboveground communities with respect to their required resources. For successful adoption of above-belowground interactions in agriculture there is a need for context-specific solutions, as well as sound socio-economic embedding.

Original languageEnglish
Article number300
JournalFrontiers in Ecology and Evolution
Volume7
Issue numberAUG
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2019

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agriculture
organisms
pollinators
pollinator
soil-plant interactions
landscaping
ecosystems
crops
biotic stress
intercropping
soil biota
crop
ecosystem
abiotic stress
socioeconomics
crop rotation
herbivores
growing season
plant growth
pests

Keywords

  • Above-belowground biotic interactions
  • Agroecology
  • Spatio-temporal scales
  • Steering communities
  • Sustainable agriculture

Cite this

Veen, G.F. ; Jasper Wubs, E.R. ; Bardgett, Richard D. ; Barrios, Edmundo ; Bradford, Mark A. ; Carvalho, Sabrina ; De Deyn, Gerlinde B. ; de Vries, Franciska T. ; Giller, Ken E. ; Kleijn, David ; Landis, Douglas A. ; Rossing, Walter A.H. ; Schrama, Maarten ; Six, Johan ; Struik, Paul C. ; van Gils, Stijn ; Wiskerke, Johannes S.C. ; van der Putten, Wim H. ; Vet, Louise E.M. / Applying the aboveground-belowground interaction concept in agriculture: Spatio-temporal scales matter. In: Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. 2019 ; Vol. 7, No. AUG.
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Applying the aboveground-belowground interaction concept in agriculture: Spatio-temporal scales matter. / Veen, G.F.; Jasper Wubs, E.R.; Bardgett, Richard D.; Barrios, Edmundo; Bradford, Mark A.; Carvalho, Sabrina; De Deyn, Gerlinde B.; de Vries, Franciska T.; Giller, Ken E.; Kleijn, David; Landis, Douglas A.; Rossing, Walter A.H.; Schrama, Maarten; Six, Johan; Struik, Paul C.; van Gils, Stijn; Wiskerke, Johannes S.C.; van der Putten, Wim H.; Vet, Louise E.M.

In: Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 7, No. AUG, 300, 14.08.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AU - Veen, G.F.

AU - Jasper Wubs, E.R.

AU - Bardgett, Richard D.

AU - Barrios, Edmundo

AU - Bradford, Mark A.

AU - Carvalho, Sabrina

AU - De Deyn, Gerlinde B.

AU - de Vries, Franciska T.

AU - Giller, Ken E.

AU - Kleijn, David

AU - Landis, Douglas A.

AU - Rossing, Walter A.H.

AU - Schrama, Maarten

AU - Six, Johan

AU - Struik, Paul C.

AU - van Gils, Stijn

AU - Wiskerke, Johannes S.C.

AU - van der Putten, Wim H.

AU - Vet, Louise E.M.

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