Recent Advances in Soil Health: Influences of Organic Carbon and Microbiota

A special issue of Biology (ISSN 2079-7737). This special issue belongs to the section "Microbiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 2063

Special Issue Editors

Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, 58344 Kėdainiai distr., Akademija, Lithuania
Interests: soil microbiology; plant pathology; soil quality, molecular biology, soil microbiomics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Audrius Gegeckas
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Biosciences, Life Sciences Center, Vilnius University, Sauletekis av. 7, LT-10257 Vilnius, Lithuania
Interests: soil health; soil microbiota; biofertilizers; plant growth-promoting bacteria; biocatalysis
Institute of Biosciences, Life Sciences Center, Vilnius University, Sauletekis av. 7, LT-10257 Vilnius, Lithuania
Interests: engineering of microbial enzymes; bioconsolidation/biocementation; polyester hydrolysis; biocontrol of micromycetes; soil improvement

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Recently, the deteriorating general condition of the soil has become a cause of great concern. Much scientific research has been directed to searching for measures that can improve the ability of soil to accumulate organic carbon, thus preventing degradation and improving the availability of nutrients to plants. The state of soil organic matter is the main quality parameter of the soil. Environmental factors (temperature, oxygen availability, humidity, biological activity) determine the quality and speed of decomposition of organic matter, which is very important in intensive agricultural systems. However, the assessment of soil health is still dominated by chemical indicators, although there are enough signals to demonstrate the importance of soil biodiversity. The understanding of soil health should be enriched by the ability to absorb carbon, in the form of CO2, thereby contributing to climate change mitigation, and the accumulation of soil carbon stocks, ensuring the long-term sustainability of ecosystems and the maintenance of productivity. In this case, not only are the quantitative parameters of the soil microbiota very important, but also the composition of species, as well as the functional capabilities that determine the success of nutrients entering the soil and the general condition of the soil and, most importantly, its sustainability. Currently, the use of beneficial microorganisms in the agricultural sector is increasing, in order to replace mineral fertilizers and chemical pesticides. The control of soil health should be considered as a fundamental principle in achieving sustainability as an ultimate goal.

Therefore, we invite scientists to publish their latest research results in the field of soil health in scientific articles and reports, and to share their insights on this topic in review articles. Scientific articles concerning the research on the diversity of soil microorganism communities, including viruses, protozoa, and invertebrates, in the sense of analyzing the condition of the soil health are also very welcome.

Dr. Audrius Kačergius
Dr. Audrius Gegeckas
Dr. Renata Gudiukaité
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • diversity of soil microbial community
  • soil microbial function in environment
  • soil microbiomics
  • carbon sequestration
  • soil organic matter (SOM)
  • soil organic carbon (SOC)
  • soil quality
  • plant–soil microbial interaction
  • eco-friendly agriculture
  • biofertilizers

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 1478 KiB  
Article
Ecological Diversity of Bacterial Rhizomicrobiome Core during the Growth of Selected Wheat Cultivars
Biology 2023, 12(8), 1067; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12081067 - 30 Jul 2023
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Abstract
One of the latest ecological concepts is the occurrence of a biased rhizosphere of microorganisms recruited mostly through interactions among various components of the rhizosphere, including plant roots and the bulk soil microbiome. We compared the diverse attributes of the core microbiome of [...] Read more.
One of the latest ecological concepts is the occurrence of a biased rhizosphere of microorganisms recruited mostly through interactions among various components of the rhizosphere, including plant roots and the bulk soil microbiome. We compared the diverse attributes of the core microbiome of wheat rhizosphere communities with wheat (W) and legume (L) forecrops determined by three different methods in this study (membership, composition, and functionality). The conclusions of the three methods of microbiome core definition suggest the presence of generalists, i.e., some representative microorganisms from Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Hypomicrobiaceae, Bradyrhizobiaceae, Sphingomonas sp., in the wheat rhizomicrobiome. The relative abundance of the core microbiome accounted for 0.1976% (W) and 0.334% (L)—membership method and 6.425% (W) and 4.253% (L)—composition method. Additionally, bacteria of the specialist group, such as Rhodoplanes sp., are functionally important in the rhizomicrobiome core. This small community is strongly connected with other microbes and is essential for maintenance of the sustainability of certain metabolic pathways. Full article
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42 pages, 1383 KiB  
Review
Role of Soil Microbiota Enzymes in Soil Health and Activity Changes Depending on Climate Change and the Type of Soil Ecosystem
Biology 2024, 13(2), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology13020085 - 29 Jan 2024
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Abstract
The extracellular enzymes secreted by soil microorganisms play a pivotal role in the decomposition of organic matter and the global cycles of carbon (C), phosphorus (P), and nitrogen (N), also serving as indicators of soil health and fertility. Current research is extensively analyzing [...] Read more.
The extracellular enzymes secreted by soil microorganisms play a pivotal role in the decomposition of organic matter and the global cycles of carbon (C), phosphorus (P), and nitrogen (N), also serving as indicators of soil health and fertility. Current research is extensively analyzing these microbial populations and enzyme activities in diverse soil ecosystems and climatic regions, such as forests, grasslands, tropics, arctic regions and deserts. Climate change, global warming, and intensive agriculture are altering soil enzyme activities. Yet, few reviews have thoroughly explored the key enzymes required for soil fertility and the effects of abiotic factors on their functionality. A comprehensive review is thus essential to better understand the role of soil microbial enzymes in C, P, and N cycles, and their response to climate changes, soil ecosystems, organic farming, and fertilization. Studies indicate that the soil temperature, moisture, water content, pH, substrate availability, and average annual temperature and precipitation significantly impact enzyme activities. Additionally, climate change has shown ambiguous effects on these activities, causing both reductions and enhancements in enzyme catalytic functions. Full article
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