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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » Northwest Sustainable Agroecosystems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #387273

Research Project: Improving Air Quality, Soil Health and Nutrient Use Efficiency to Increase Northwest Agroecosystem Performance

Location: Northwest Sustainable Agroecosystems Research

Title: Decline in soil microbial abundance when camelina introduced into a monoculture wheat system

item HANSEN, JEREMY - US Department Of Agriculture (USDA)
item SCHILLINGER, WILLIAM - Washington State University
item PAULITZ, TIMOTHY - US Department Of Agriculture (USDA)
item SULLIVAN, TARAH - Washington State University

Submitted to: Frontiers in Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/26/2020
Publication Date: 11/19/2020
Citation: Hansen, J.C., Schillinger, W.F., Paulitz, T.C., Sullivan, T.S. 2020. Decline in soil microbial abundance when camelina introduced into a monoculture wheat system. Frontiers in Microbiology. 11:571178.

Interpretive Summary: Camelina is a potential biofueld crop for the dryland region of the inland Pacific Northwest of the US. Broadleaf crops like camelina can provide a benefit to the following wheat crop such as breaking the disease cycle of wheat pathogens. We have previously reported, however, that growing spring wheat after a related crop (winter canola) causes a consistent grain yield reduction as well as disruptions in soil biological communities. This research expands on previous research to include assessment of camelina impacts on soil biology. We found that micro-organism abundance declined following camelina and that the soil micro-organism community quickly shifted in response to growing camelina. This research will be of interest to agricultural scientists, farmers, the Natural Resource Conservation Service, consultants and other agricultural professionals.

Technical Abstract: Camelina [Camelina sativa (L.) Crantz] of the Brassicacea family is a potential alternative and oilseed biofuel crop for wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)-based cropping systems of the Inland Pacific Northwest (PNW) of the USA. We investigated the effect of this relatively new rotational crop on soil microbial communities. An 8-year cropping systems experiment was initiated in 2007 at Lind, WA, to compare a 3-yr rotation of winter wheat (WW)-camelina (C)-fallow (F) to the typical 2-yr WW-F rotation. All phases of both rotations (total = 20 plots) were present every year to allow valid statistical analysis and data interpretations. Monoculture WW-F is the dominant system practiced by the vast majority of farmers on 1.56 million hectares of cropland in the PNW drylands that receive <300 mm average annual precipitation. Microbial abundance and community composition were determined using phospholipid fatty acid analysis (PLFA) from soil samples collected during three consecutive years beginning in 2010.