We found that community composition of bacteria and fungi differed between organic and conventionally managed fields. In the organic fields, fungal diversity increased with time since conversion. However, this effect disappeared when the conventional paired fields were included. There was a relationship between pH and soil organic matter content and the diversity and community composition of bacteria and fungi. In marine clay soils, when time since organic management increased, fungal communities in organic fields became more dissimilar to those in conventional fields. We conclude that conversion to organic management in these Dutch farmers’ fields did not increase microbial community diversity. Instead, we observed that in organic fields in marine clay when time since conversion increased soil fungal community composition became progressively dissimilar from that in conventional fields. Our results also showed that the paired sampling approach of organic and conventional fields was essential in order to control for environmental variation that was otherwise unaccounted for.
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Soil microbial diversity and community composition during conversion from conventional to organic agriculture
van Rijssel, S. Q. (Creator), Veen, C. G. F. (Creator), Koorneef, G. (Creator), Bakx-Schotman, T. (Creator), ten Hooven, F. C. (Creator), Geisen, S. (Creator) & van der Putten, W. (Creator), Wageningen University & Research, 14 Jun 2022