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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #369650

Research Project: Sustainable Intensification of Cropping Systems on Spatially Variable Landscapes and Soils

Location: Cropping Systems and Water Quality Research

Title: Incorporating soil biological indicators into soil survey: microbial community structure and enzymatic activity

item WILLS, SKYE - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS, USDA)
item Veum, Kristen
item CAUDLE, CAITLIN - North Carolina State University
item OSMOND, DEANNA - North Carolina State University
item HEITMAN, JOSHUA - North Carolina State University
item CROSSMAN, SAVANNAH - Kansas State University
item STARR, LAURA - Kansas State University
item TOMLINSON, PETER - Kansas State University
item PRESELY, DEANN - Kansas State University
item MADSEN, ISAAC - Washington State University

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/30/2019
Publication Date: 11/10/2019
Citation: Wills, S., Veum, K.S., Caudle, C., Osmond, D., Heitman, J., Crossman, S., Starr, L., Tomlinson, P., Presely, D., Madsen, I. 2019. Incorporating soil biological indicators into soil survey: microbial community structure and enzymatic activity [abstact]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting, November 10-13, 2019. San Antonio. No. 135-5.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Interest in soil health indicators as a tool for land management continues to expand within government agencies, the larger scientific community, and with the public. Measures of the soil biological community structure and activity are of particular interest, but there are few benchmarks and reference values to guide users. Traditionally, soil survey has reported soil properties that were not expected to change over management time frames (i.e.: inherent soil characteristics). However, users are interested in more dynamic properties that may change as influenced by land use and management. In order to bridge soil health assessment and soil survey products, the Soil and Plant Science Division of NRCS is coordinating a project called Dynamic Soil Properties for Soil Health Assessment as part of a broader Science of Soil Health Initiative. The project consists of nine individual cooperative agreements with land grant universities (CA, KS, IL, MN, NC, OR, TX, WA, WI) that use common protocols and procedures to evaluate proposed soil health metrics This presentation will focus on biology related soil health parameters including respiration, active carbon, soil enzymatic activity , and microbial community structure assessed with the phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) method. Each study identified sampling locations based on the predominant soil series for that state. Soil sample cores (0-5 cm, 5-10 cm, and deeper depending on soil depth) were collected from two or more management systems dependent on the predominant agricultural practices of each region. Initial results indicate that the magnitude of biological indicators differ largely by region and soil evaluated, management systems impact biological parameters within soils, and sample locations within individual fields also vary significantly.