Soil biological quality of grassland fertilized with adjusted cattle manure slurries in comparison with organic and inorganic fertilizers

N.J.M. van Eekeren, Herman de Boer, J. Bloem, T. Schouten, M. Rutgers, R.G.M. de Goede, L. Brussaard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We studied the effect of five fertilizers (including two adjusted manure slurries) and an untreated control on soil biota and explored the effect on the ecosystem services they provided. Our results suggest that the available N (NO3- and NH4+) in the soil plays a central role in the effect of fertilizers on nematodes and microorganisms. Microorganisms are affected directly through nutrient availability and indirectly through grass root mass. Nematodes are affected indirectly through microbial biomass and grass root mass. A lower amount of available N in the treatment with inorganic fertilizer was linked to a higher root mass and a higher abundance and proportion of herbivorous nematodes. A higher amount of available N in the organic fertilizer treatments resulted in a twofold higher bacterial activity (measured as bacterial growth rate, viz. thymidine incorporation), a higher proportion of bacterivorous nematodes, a 30% higher potential N mineralization (aerobic incubation), and 25–50% more potentially mineralizable N (anaerobic incubation). Compared to inorganic fertilizer, organic fertilization increased the C total, the N total, the activity of decomposers, and the supply of nutrients via the soil food web. Within the group of organic fertilizers, there was no significant difference in C total, abundances of soil biota, and the potential N mineralization rate. There were no indications that farmyard manure or the adjusted manure slurries provided the ecosystem service “supply of nutrients” better than normal manure slurry. Normal manure slurry provided the highest bacterial activity and the highest amount of mineralizable N and it was the only fertilizer resulting in a positive trend in grass yield over the years 2000–2005. The number of earthworm burrows was higher in the treatments with organic fertilizers compared to the one with the inorganic fertilizer, which suggests that organic fertilizers stimulate the ecosystem service of water regulation more than inorganic fertilizer. The trend towards higher epigeic earthworm numbers with application of farmyard manure and one of the adjusted manure slurries, combined with the negative relation between epigeic earthworms and bulk density and a significantly lower penetration resistance in the same fertilizer types, is preliminary evidence that these two organic fertilizer types contribute more to the service of soil structure maintenance than inorganic fertilizer
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-608
JournalBiology and Fertility of Soils
Volume45
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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Manure
Fertilizers
organic fertilizers
cattle manure
mineral fertilizers
animal manures
cattle
manure
Soil
grasslands
grassland
fertilizer
soil
Nematoda
fertilizers
ecosystem services
nematode
earthworm
ecosystem service
grasses

Keywords

  • nitrogenous fertilizers
  • earthworms oligochaeta
  • pig slurry
  • management
  • biodiversity
  • nematodes
  • dynamics
  • term
  • mineralization
  • microorganisms

Cite this

@article{d756bf7a21604f13901781c22dfd8658,
title = "Soil biological quality of grassland fertilized with adjusted cattle manure slurries in comparison with organic and inorganic fertilizers",
abstract = "We studied the effect of five fertilizers (including two adjusted manure slurries) and an untreated control on soil biota and explored the effect on the ecosystem services they provided. Our results suggest that the available N (NO3- and NH4+) in the soil plays a central role in the effect of fertilizers on nematodes and microorganisms. Microorganisms are affected directly through nutrient availability and indirectly through grass root mass. Nematodes are affected indirectly through microbial biomass and grass root mass. A lower amount of available N in the treatment with inorganic fertilizer was linked to a higher root mass and a higher abundance and proportion of herbivorous nematodes. A higher amount of available N in the organic fertilizer treatments resulted in a twofold higher bacterial activity (measured as bacterial growth rate, viz. thymidine incorporation), a higher proportion of bacterivorous nematodes, a 30{\%} higher potential N mineralization (aerobic incubation), and 25–50{\%} more potentially mineralizable N (anaerobic incubation). Compared to inorganic fertilizer, organic fertilization increased the C total, the N total, the activity of decomposers, and the supply of nutrients via the soil food web. Within the group of organic fertilizers, there was no significant difference in C total, abundances of soil biota, and the potential N mineralization rate. There were no indications that farmyard manure or the adjusted manure slurries provided the ecosystem service “supply of nutrients” better than normal manure slurry. Normal manure slurry provided the highest bacterial activity and the highest amount of mineralizable N and it was the only fertilizer resulting in a positive trend in grass yield over the years 2000–2005. The number of earthworm burrows was higher in the treatments with organic fertilizers compared to the one with the inorganic fertilizer, which suggests that organic fertilizers stimulate the ecosystem service of water regulation more than inorganic fertilizer. The trend towards higher epigeic earthworm numbers with application of farmyard manure and one of the adjusted manure slurries, combined with the negative relation between epigeic earthworms and bulk density and a significantly lower penetration resistance in the same fertilizer types, is preliminary evidence that these two organic fertilizer types contribute more to the service of soil structure maintenance than inorganic fertilizer",
keywords = "nitrogenous fertilizers, earthworms oligochaeta, pig slurry, management, biodiversity, nematodes, dynamics, term, mineralization, microorganisms",
author = "{van Eekeren}, N.J.M. and {de Boer}, Herman and J. Bloem and T. Schouten and M. Rutgers and {de Goede}, R.G.M. and L. Brussaard",
year = "2009",
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language = "English",
volume = "45",
pages = "595--608",
journal = "Biology and Fertility of Soils",
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Soil biological quality of grassland fertilized with adjusted cattle manure slurries in comparison with organic and inorganic fertilizers. / van Eekeren, N.J.M.; de Boer, Herman; Bloem, J.; Schouten, T.; Rutgers, M.; de Goede, R.G.M.; Brussaard, L.

In: Biology and Fertility of Soils, Vol. 45, No. 6, 2009, p. 595-608.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Soil biological quality of grassland fertilized with adjusted cattle manure slurries in comparison with organic and inorganic fertilizers

AU - van Eekeren, N.J.M.

AU - de Boer, Herman

AU - Bloem, J.

AU - Schouten, T.

AU - Rutgers, M.

AU - de Goede, R.G.M.

AU - Brussaard, L.

PY - 2009

Y1 - 2009

N2 - We studied the effect of five fertilizers (including two adjusted manure slurries) and an untreated control on soil biota and explored the effect on the ecosystem services they provided. Our results suggest that the available N (NO3- and NH4+) in the soil plays a central role in the effect of fertilizers on nematodes and microorganisms. Microorganisms are affected directly through nutrient availability and indirectly through grass root mass. Nematodes are affected indirectly through microbial biomass and grass root mass. A lower amount of available N in the treatment with inorganic fertilizer was linked to a higher root mass and a higher abundance and proportion of herbivorous nematodes. A higher amount of available N in the organic fertilizer treatments resulted in a twofold higher bacterial activity (measured as bacterial growth rate, viz. thymidine incorporation), a higher proportion of bacterivorous nematodes, a 30% higher potential N mineralization (aerobic incubation), and 25–50% more potentially mineralizable N (anaerobic incubation). Compared to inorganic fertilizer, organic fertilization increased the C total, the N total, the activity of decomposers, and the supply of nutrients via the soil food web. Within the group of organic fertilizers, there was no significant difference in C total, abundances of soil biota, and the potential N mineralization rate. There were no indications that farmyard manure or the adjusted manure slurries provided the ecosystem service “supply of nutrients” better than normal manure slurry. Normal manure slurry provided the highest bacterial activity and the highest amount of mineralizable N and it was the only fertilizer resulting in a positive trend in grass yield over the years 2000–2005. The number of earthworm burrows was higher in the treatments with organic fertilizers compared to the one with the inorganic fertilizer, which suggests that organic fertilizers stimulate the ecosystem service of water regulation more than inorganic fertilizer. The trend towards higher epigeic earthworm numbers with application of farmyard manure and one of the adjusted manure slurries, combined with the negative relation between epigeic earthworms and bulk density and a significantly lower penetration resistance in the same fertilizer types, is preliminary evidence that these two organic fertilizer types contribute more to the service of soil structure maintenance than inorganic fertilizer

AB - We studied the effect of five fertilizers (including two adjusted manure slurries) and an untreated control on soil biota and explored the effect on the ecosystem services they provided. Our results suggest that the available N (NO3- and NH4+) in the soil plays a central role in the effect of fertilizers on nematodes and microorganisms. Microorganisms are affected directly through nutrient availability and indirectly through grass root mass. Nematodes are affected indirectly through microbial biomass and grass root mass. A lower amount of available N in the treatment with inorganic fertilizer was linked to a higher root mass and a higher abundance and proportion of herbivorous nematodes. A higher amount of available N in the organic fertilizer treatments resulted in a twofold higher bacterial activity (measured as bacterial growth rate, viz. thymidine incorporation), a higher proportion of bacterivorous nematodes, a 30% higher potential N mineralization (aerobic incubation), and 25–50% more potentially mineralizable N (anaerobic incubation). Compared to inorganic fertilizer, organic fertilization increased the C total, the N total, the activity of decomposers, and the supply of nutrients via the soil food web. Within the group of organic fertilizers, there was no significant difference in C total, abundances of soil biota, and the potential N mineralization rate. There were no indications that farmyard manure or the adjusted manure slurries provided the ecosystem service “supply of nutrients” better than normal manure slurry. Normal manure slurry provided the highest bacterial activity and the highest amount of mineralizable N and it was the only fertilizer resulting in a positive trend in grass yield over the years 2000–2005. The number of earthworm burrows was higher in the treatments with organic fertilizers compared to the one with the inorganic fertilizer, which suggests that organic fertilizers stimulate the ecosystem service of water regulation more than inorganic fertilizer. The trend towards higher epigeic earthworm numbers with application of farmyard manure and one of the adjusted manure slurries, combined with the negative relation between epigeic earthworms and bulk density and a significantly lower penetration resistance in the same fertilizer types, is preliminary evidence that these two organic fertilizer types contribute more to the service of soil structure maintenance than inorganic fertilizer

KW - nitrogenous fertilizers

KW - earthworms oligochaeta

KW - pig slurry

KW - management

KW - biodiversity

KW - nematodes

KW - dynamics

KW - term

KW - mineralization

KW - microorganisms

U2 - 10.1007/s00374-009-0370-2

DO - 10.1007/s00374-009-0370-2

M3 - Article

VL - 45

SP - 595

EP - 608

JO - Biology and Fertility of Soils

JF - Biology and Fertility of Soils

SN - 0178-2762

IS - 6

ER -