Commenced in January 2007
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Paper Count: 3

Search results for: sustainable agriculture.

3 Application of Metarhizium anisopliae against Meloidogyne javanica in Soil Amended with Oak Debris

Authors: Mohammad Abdollahi

Abstract:

Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is one of the most popular, widely grown and the second most important vegetable crop, after potatoes. Nematodes have been identified as one of the major pests affecting tomato production throughout the world. The most destructive nematodes are the genus Meloidogyne. Most widespread and devastating species of this genus are M. incognita, M. javanica, and M. arenaria. These species can cause complete crop loss under adverse growing conditions. There are several potential methods for management of the root knot nematodes. Although the chemicals are widely used against the phytonematodes, because of hazardous effects of these compounds on non-target organisms and on the environment, there is a need to develop other control strategies. Nowadays, non-chemical measures are widely used to control the plant parasitic nematodes. Biocontrol of phytonematodes is an important method among environment-friendly measures of nematode management. There are some soil-inhabiting fungi that have biocontrol potential on phytonematodes, which can be used in nematode management program. The fungus Metarhizium anisopliae, originally is an entomopathogenic bioagent. Biocontrol potential of this fungus on some phytonematodes has been reported earlier. Recently, use of organic soil amendments as well as the use of bioagents is under special attention in sustainable agriculture. This research aimed to reduce the pesticide use in control of root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne javanica in tomato. The effects of M. anisopliae IMI 330189 and different levels of oak tree debris on M. javanica were determined. The combination effect of the fungus as well as the different rates of soil amendments was determined. Pots were filled with steam pasteurized soil mixture and the six leaf tomato seedlings were inoculated with 3000 second stage larvae of M. javanica/kg of soil. After eight weeks, plant growth parameters and nematode reproduction factors were compared. Based on the results of our experiment, combination of M. anisopliae IMI 330189 and oak debris caused more than 90% reduction in reproduction factor of nematode, at the rates of 100 and 150 g/kg soil (P ≤ 0.05). As compared to control, the reduction in number of galls was 76%. It was 86% for nematode reproduction factor, showing the significance of combined effect of both tested agents. Our results showed that plant debris can increase the biological activity of the tested bioagent. It was also proved that there was no adverse effect of oak debris, which potentially has antimicrobial activity, on antagonistic power of applied bioagent.

Keywords: Biological control, nematode management, organic soil, Quercus branti, root knot nematode, soil amendment.

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2 Biogas from Cover Crops and Field Residues: Effects on Soil, Water, Climate and Ecological Footprint

Authors: Manfred Szerencsits, Christine Weinberger, Maximilian Kuderna, Franz Feichtinger, Eva Erhart, Stephan Maier

Abstract:

Cover or catch crops have beneficial effects for soil, water, erosion, etc. If harvested, they also provide feedstock for biogas without competition for arable land in regions, where only one main crop can be produced per year. On average gross energy yields of approx. 1300 m³ methane (CH4) ha-1 can be expected from 4.5 tonnes (t) of cover crop dry matter (DM) in Austria. Considering the total energy invested from cultivation to compression for biofuel use a net energy yield of about 1000 m³ CH4 ha-1 is remaining. With the straw of grain maize or Corn Cob Mix (CCM) similar energy yields can be achieved. In comparison to catch crops remaining on the field as green manure or to complete fallow between main crops the effects on soil, water and climate can be improved if cover crops are harvested without soil compaction and digestate is returned to the field in an amount equivalent to cover crop removal. In this way, the risk of nitrate leaching can be reduced approx. by 25% in comparison to full fallow. The risk of nitrous oxide emissions may be reduced up to 50% by contrast with cover crops serving as green manure. The effects on humus content and erosion are similar or better than those of cover crops used as green manure when the same amount of biomass was produced. With higher biomass production the positive effects increase even if cover crops are harvested and the only digestate is brought back to the fields. The ecological footprint of arable farming can be reduced by approx. 50% considering the substitution of natural gas with CH4 produced from cover crops.

Keywords: Biogas, cover crops, catch crops, land use competition, sustainable agriculture.

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1 Microbiological and Physicochemical Studies of Wetland Soils in Eket, Nigeria

Authors: Ime R. Udotong, Ofonime U. M. John, Justina I. R. Udotong

Abstract:

The microbiological and physicochemical characteristics of wetland soils in Eket Local Government Area were studied between May 2001 and June 2003. Total heterotrophic bacterial counts (THBC), total fungal counts (TFC), and total actinomycetes counts (TAC) were determined from soil samples taken from four locations at two depths in the wet and dry seasons. Microbial isolates were characterized and identified. Particle size and chemical parameters were also determined using standard methods. THBC ranged from 5.2 (+0.17) x106 to 1.7 (+0.18) x107 cfu/g and from 2.4 (+0.02) x106 to 1.4 (+0.04) x107cfu/g in the wet and dry seasons, respectively. TFC ranged from 1.8 (+0.03) x106 to 6.6 (+ 0.18) x106 cfu/g and from 1.0 (+0.04) x106 to 4.2 (+ 0.01) x106 cfu/g in the wet and dry seasons, respectively .TAC ranged from 1.2 (+0.53) x106 to 6.0 (+0.05) x106 cfu/g and from 0.6 (+0.01) x106 to 3.2 (+ 0.12) x106 cfu/g in the wet and dry season, respectively. Acinetobacter, Alcaligenes, Arthrobacter, Bacillus, Beijerinckja, Enterobacter, Micrococcus, Flavobacterium, Serratia, Enterococcus, and Pseudomonas species were predominant bacteria while Aspergillus, Fusarium, Mucor, Penicillium, and Rhizopus were the dominant fungal genera isolated. Streptomyces and Norcadia were the actinomycetes genera isolated. The particle size analysis showed high sand fraction but low silt and clay. The pH and % organic matter were generally acidic and low, respectively at all locations. Calcium dominated the exchangeable bases with low electrical conductivity and micronutrients. These results provide the baseline data of Eket wetland soils for its management for sustainable agriculture.

Keywords: Wetland soils, Microbial counts, physicochemicalcharacteristics, Sustainable agriculture.

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