Effects of irrigation on phosphorus in soil, soil microbes and plants of semi-natural grasslands

Landwehr, A.; Oberson, A.; Lessard-Therrien, Malie; Humbert, Jean-Yves; Arlettaz, Raphaël; Huguenin-Elie, O. (2017). Effects of irrigation on phosphorus in soil, soil microbes and plants of semi-natural grasslands. In: Grassland resources for extensive farming systems in marginal lands: major drivers and future scenarios. Grassland Science in Europe: Vol. 22 (pp. 348-350). Istituto Sistema Produzione Animale Ambiente Mediterraneo

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Water and phosphorus (P) are two critical resources for high nature value farming in semi-dry mountains. They are major drivers of grassland productivity but can negatively affect plant diversity. Soil moisture is known to affect soil microbial activity and plant P nutrition but the effects of irrigation on soil P status, soil microbial P and plant P nutrition in semi-natural grasslands remain largely unexplored, which impedes the optimization of fertilization. The aim of this study was to assess the mid-term effects of irrigation on P availability in the soil, the size of the soil microbial P pool and plant P nutrition in semi-dry mountain grasslands. At the end of a five-year irrigation-fertilization factorial experiment on eleven seminatural grasslands of an inner-alpine valley, soil P availability and herbage P content did not significantly differ between the irrigated and the not irrigated treatments. Fertilization increased herbage P content from 2.2 to 3.1 mg P kg-1 dry mass (P<0.001). The size of the microbial P pool remained unaffected by irrigation and fertilization. We conclude that for semi-natural mountain grasslands, no correction factor for irrigated compared to not irrigated meadows is necessary to estimate the P fertilization requirement per unit of herbage yield.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE) > Conservation Biology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Ecology and Evolution (IEE)

UniBE Contributor:

Lessard-Therrien, Malie; Humbert, Jean-Yves and Arlettaz, Raphaël

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

Series:

Grassland Science in Europe

Publisher:

Istituto Sistema Produzione Animale Ambiente Mediterraneo

Language:

English

Submitter:

Olivier Roth

Date Deposited:

18 Apr 2018 08:46

Last Modified:

11 Nov 2019 19:33

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.110647

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/110647

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