I’m pleased to announce that an article was published today on soil microbes, climate change, and agriculture! As local climates continue to shift, the dynamics of above- and below-ground associated bio-diversity will also shift, which will impact food production and the need for more sustainable practices.
This publication is part of a series, from data collected from a long-term farming experiment in Bozeman, MT, led by researchers at Montana State University with whom I have published several times, including:
In this study, cropping system (such as organic or conventional), soil temperature, soil moisture, the diversity and biomass of weed communities, and treatment with Wheat streak mosaic virus were compared as related to the bacterial community in the soil associated with wheat plant roots.
This paper is open-access, which means anyone can read the full paper.
Ishaq, S.L., Seipel, T., Yeoman, C.J., Menalled, F.D. 2020. mSphere DOI: 10.1128/mSphere.00340-20. Article.
Little knowledge exists on how soil bacteria in agricultural settings are impacted by management practices and environmental conditions under current and predicted climate scenarios. We assessed the impact of soil moisture, soil temperature, weed communities, and disease status on soil bacterial communities between three cropping systems: conventional no-till (CNT) utilizing synthetic pesticides and herbicides, 2) USDA-certified tilled organic (OT), and 3) USDA-certified organic with sheep grazing (OG). Sampling date within the growing season, and associated soil temperature and moisture, exerted the greatest effect on bacterial communities, followed by cropping system, Wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV) infection status, and weed community. Soil temperature was negatively correlated with bacterial richness and evenness, while soil moisture was positively correlated with bacterial richness and evenness. Soil temperature and soil moisture independently altered soil bacterial community similarity between treatments. Inoculation of wheat with WSMV altered the associated soil bacteria, and there were interactions between disease status and cropping system, sampling date, and climate conditions, indicating the effect of multiple stressors on bacterial communities in soil. . In May and July, cropping system altered the effect of climate change on the bacterial community composition in hotter, and hotter and drier conditions as compared to ambient conditions, in samples not treated with WSMV. Overall, this study indicates that predicted climate modifications as well as biological stressors play a fundamental role in the impact of cropping systems on soil bacterial communities.