PADDY AND WATER ENVIRONMENT (2011) 9(1): 53-64. doi: 10.1007/s10333-011-0260-8Iswandi Anas, O. P. Rupela, T. M. Thiyagarajan and Norman Uphoff
This communication reports on separate research efforts in India and Indonesia to evaluate the effects that modifying methods of plant, soil, water and nutrient management could have on populations of soil organisms, particularly on those that can have beneficial consequences for crop growth and yield. Comparison of these parallel studies draws attention to the impacts that management can have on the soil biota, given that certain organisms are known to have positive implications for plantsí nutrition, health, and productivity. Data from the three studies show SRI management associated with some significant differences in soil microbial populations; higher levels of enzyme activity in SRI plant rhizospheres, indicative of increased N and P availability; and more soil microbial C and N, which would enlarge the nutrient pool for both plants and microbes. The studies reported, although more exploratory than conclusive, show enough similarity to suggest that SRI practices, which make paddy soils more aerobic and enhance soil organic matter, are supportive of enhanced populations of beneficial soil organisms. If this relationship is confirmed by further assessments, it could help researchers and practitioners to improve paddy production in resource-conserving, cost-effective ways. This review was written to encourage more studies to assess these kinds of soil biotic relationships and dynamics.
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