Review of the scientific literature to determine the extent of knowledge on the impact of crop management strategies on soil microbial populations
Bennett, A., Mills, P. and Chandler, Dave (2008) Review of the scientific literature to determine the extent of knowledge on the impact of crop management strategies on soil microbial populations. United Kingdom: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. (Science and Research Projects).Full text not available from this repository.
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The majority of arable and annual horticultural field crops within the UK are grown as part of a rotation. This is to manage fertility, particularly in organic production systems, and reduce the incidence of soil-borne pests and disease. Crop rotation and its associated management practices generally disrupt the life cycles of microbial and invertebrate species in the soil, through host alternation and physical disturbance.
In recent years there has been considerable interest in, and development of, management practices that increase the diversity of vegetation within fields. These include components of the England Rural Development Programme Environmental Stewardship Scheme, in which Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) aims to tackle countrywide environmental problems (including loss of biodiversity) through, for example, conservation headlands, beetle banks and field corner management. One of the principal aims is to provide additional habitats for animal species in order to increase biodiversity and, where possible, increase levels of natural pest control. As well as increasing plant diversity across the farm, some of these practices also increase the proportion of permanent vegetation within fields, and the temporal and spatial connectivity between patches of non-crop vegetation. In addition, certain cropping practices, such as companion planting and undersowing, also increase plant diversity within fields. These practices may be combined with other operations designed to improve the field environment, such as the use of minimal tillage (widely used in America and gaining increasing attention in the UK) and the application of organic amendments to soil, such as mulches or composted green waste.
|Subjects:||Q Science > Q Science (General)|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Science > Life Sciences (2010- ) > Warwick HRI (2004-2010)|
|Series Name:||Science and Research Projects|
|Publisher:||Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs|
|Place of Publication:||United Kingdom|
|Number of Pages:||15|
|Status:||Not Peer Reviewed|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
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