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Soil quality in organically managed fields compared to conventionally managed fields in the northern and central wheatbelt of WA

Deria, A., Bell, R.W. and O'Hara, G.W. (2000) Soil quality in organically managed fields compared to conventionally managed fields in the northern and central wheatbelt of WA. In: Soils 2000 : making our science more useable : proceedings of conference Muresk Institute of Agriculture, 11 - 13 July, Northam, WA, Australia.

Abstract

One of the main principles of organic farming systems is to build soil organic matter, and to cycle nutrients through microbially-mediated pools. At present there is limited information about the impact of organic farming systems on soil quality in the wheatbelt of West Australia. The aims of the present study were to determine soil biological and microbial properties at paired organically and conventionally managed sites using different techniques such as: microbial biomass, microbial N and P; microbial activity (respiration); potential N mineralisation by arginine ammonification; potential cellulose decomposition by the cotton strip test; and levels of root colonization by VA mycorrhizal fungi. A range of biological and microbial properties including microbial biomass, and microbial N and P pools were significantly higher in the organically managed soils than the conventionally managed soils.

Publication Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Australian Society of Soil Science Inc (WA Branch) and the Environmental Consultants Association (WA Inc.)
Copyright: © Australian Society of Soil Science Inc (WA Branch)
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/21068
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