Shifts in the microbiome of management residues that are optimized for a better fit in growing media
To optimize the pH of management residues for optimal use in growing media, liming or acidification can be used. Previous research has shown the effectiveness of these treatments to increase or decrease the pH of management residues. However, the effect of these treatments on the microbiome of management residues remains unclear. In this study, two types of management residues, forest sods and heath chopper, were limed, while a third type, soft rush, was acidified. We assessed the effect of these two optimization treatments on the microbial community of the management residues using 16S rRNA and ITS2 gene metabarcoding, PLFA analysis and Biolog EcoPlates. Results indicate that the type of management residue is important to determine the effect of liming. In forest sods, liming seemed to have a negative effect for the use in growing media, with a decrease in bacterial and fungal diversity, and microbial biomass. In heath chopper, liming seemed to have a positive effect for the use in growing media, with an increase in bacterial diversity, microbial biomass and activity, and functional diversity. Acidification of soft rush increased fungal diversity, but decreased microbial biomass and activity and functional diversity, which makes it unclear whether it is an appropriate strategy for the use in growing media.
Pot, S., De Tender, C., Ommeslag, S., Delcour, I., Ceusters, J., Gorrens, E., Debode, J., Vandecasteele, B. and Vancampenhout, K. (2021). Shifts in the microbiome of management residues that are optimized for a better fit in growing media. Acta Hortic. 1317, 107-114
management residues, microbiome, optimization, sustainable growing media, metabarcoding, phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA), Biolog EcoPlates