Legacy effects of different biomass crops differ strongly between biomass crop species

M. Schrama, S. de Carvalho

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterProfessional

Abstract

Worldwide, soils are facing two major problems. First, the conflict between soils needed for producing food, feed, bioenergy and biodiversity increases pressure on availability of agricultural land, and secondly, intensive crop production causes degradation of soil organic matter and soil biodiversity, which threatens soil functioning and ecosystem services. In order to move to a genuinely sustainable economy that uses biomass crops for the production of carbon-based materials, it is imperative to use biomass crops that do not harm soil functioning, as well as provide biomass that can be used for the biobased economy. We have used soils from a 5 year biomass crop trial to test the effects of different biomass crops on soil nutrient availability, soil biodiversity, soil disease suppressive capacities, and growth of a succeeding crop species. The first results of this study show a strong positive legacy effect of some biomass crops on soil functioning and crop growth, while other biomass crops have negative legacy effects, rendering soils more vulnerable to diseases and result in low organic matter content. Future studies focusing on the use of biomass crops for production of carbon based products should take such legacy effects into account. Strong positive legacy effects may be extra beneficial to farmers and soil quality, while strong negative legacy effects may lead to extra costs. Moreover, such studies should also be done in other (tropical) systems where the majority of the future biomass is predicted to be produced.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventThird BE-basic Symposium -
Duration: 5 Feb 20137 Feb 2013

Conference

ConferenceThird BE-basic Symposium
Period5/02/137/02/13

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