Worldwide, agricultural grasslands on drained peat contribute to CO2 emission but provide also provisioning and supporting ecosystem services that are managed by farmers. This paper evaluates the performance of organic and inorganic fertilizers in relation to soil biotic and abiotic properties linked to soil ecosystem services of peat grasslands with biodiversity goals. Effects of cattle slurry, compost, farmyard manure, solid fraction of cattle slurry and inorganic nitrogen (N) fertilizer with and without added sawdust were compared to those of an unfertilized control in a three-year field experiment. Total N input was targeted at 120 kg N ha− 1 year− 1 ; total carbon (C) input was variable due to different C:N ratios of source materials. The abundance of earthworms in spring was increased with solid fraction (+35 % as compared to the control), which had the largest C input, and was reduced with inorganic N (− 24 %). Combining inorganic N with sawdust did not affect earthworm abundance. Bacteria (determined by phospholipid fatty acid analysis) were increased following inorganic N fertilizer application with (+65 %) or without (+52 %) sawdust. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi were reduced by all fertilizers (− 40 to − 88 %), but less so by those with large C input (solid fraction) or with lignin-rich C input (sawdust + inorganic N fertilizer). Physical and chemical soil properties related to water infiltration and soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition were marginally influenced by fertilizers. The measured changes in soil pH, P availability and (micro)biology may affect SOM dynamics in the longer term. Grass dry matter yield was similarly increased by all fertilizers (+7 to 11 %) whereas grass N yield was increased by fertilizers only when the applied N was in mineral form (+16 to 20 %). From our results, we propose that the moderate use of organic fertilizers with a high and non-humified organic matter content such as solid fraction of cattle slurry can be part of a regeneration strategy in peat grasslands with biodiversity goals.
Pagina's / pages: 11
Type: Wetenschappelijk artikel
Download (pdf, 4.67 MB)
Abstract / summary in English:
Keywords in English: Earthworms, Herbage production, Manure, PLFA, Regenerative farming, Soil quality