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Sunday, 17 July 2016

Ecosystem restoration by donor soil microbes to arable field

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A new research identified new microbes that can restore soil of degraded farmland. The research was carried by Netherlands Institute of Ecology Wageningen have shown. The results were accumulated based on six months study that published in the journal Nature Plants, that have shown great promise of ecosystem repair in former arable fields by removing the thick top soil layer and replaced with microbe rich donor soil.

“Of course, seeds of plants were also present in the donor soil,” study coauthor Jasper Wubs of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology told reporters during a press briefing. “But our study shows that it is in fact the soil organisms—such as the bacteria, fungi, and roundworms—which determine the direction of ecosystem restoration.”

The research was planted on 160-hectre field in Reijerscamp, Netherlands where the land was farmed for nearly 60years. In the control plots, researchers does not treated the land and kept it as it was. In the experimental plots, they removed the existing barren topsoil by upto 50cm and replaced with 1cm thick donor grassland soil. The results shown the soil was improving and that too faster.

Scientists reported that the donor soil contain microbial community that drove off the earlier communities leading to soil restoration and healthier. “This is similar to the use of fecal transplants to restore disrupted gut microbiomes in humans,” said Wubs.


Source: The Scientist
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