Accessibility navigation

The interactions and hierarchical effects of long-term agricultural stressors on soil bacterial communities

Mombrikotb, S. B., Van Agtmaal, M., Johnstone, E., Crawley, M. J., Gweon, H. S. ORCID:, Griffiths, R. I. ORCID: and Bell, T. ORCID: (2022) The interactions and hierarchical effects of long-term agricultural stressors on soil bacterial communities. Environmental Microbiology Reports, 14 (5). pp. 711-718. ISSN 1758-2229

Text (Open Access) - Published Version
· Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
· Please see our End User Agreement before downloading.


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/1758-2229.13106


Soils are subjected to multiple anthropogenic modifications, but the synergistic impacts of simultaneous environmental stressors on below-ground communities are poorly understood. We used a large-scale (1152 plots), long-term (26 years), multi-factorial grassland experiment to assess the impact of five common agricultural practises (pesticides, herbicide, liming, fertilizers and grazing exclusion) and their interactive effects on the composition and activity of soil microbial communities. We confirmed that pH strongly impacts belowground communities, but further demonstrate that pH strongly mediates the impacts of other management factors. Notably, there was a significant interaction between liming and the effect of pesticide application, with only half of the taxa responding to pesticide being shared in both limed and unlimed treatments. Likewise, nutrient amendments significantly altered bacterial community structure in acidic soils. Not only do these results highlight an hierarchy of effect of commonly used agricultural practices but also the widespread interactions between treatments: many taxa were significantly affected by interactions between treatments, even in the absence of significant main effects. Furthermore, the results demonstrated that chemical amendments may not percolate deeply into physically unperturbed soils with effects concentrated between 0 and 30 cm, despite 20+ years of treatment. The research shows that future changes to agricultural practices will need to consider interactions among multiple factors.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Department of Bio-Engineering
ID Code:106881


Downloads per month over past year

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation