Biological properties of soil under different cropping systems

Soil biological quality can affect key soil functions that support food production and environmental quality. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of different cropping systems on soil biological quality in contrasting dry land cropping systems at Kothapally Village, Ranga Reddy dist. in Andhra Pradesh.

Alternative cropping systems were characterized by grater cropping intensity, more diverse cropping sequences and /or reduced tillage than conventional cropping systems. Soil biological properties were assumed at depths of 0-15 cm. Biological properties of the soil samples was analyzed to study the biological diversity under various cropping systems. Enumeration of microbes was done by dilution plate technique; using appropriate medium, microbial biomass, carbon and microbial biomass N were determined by chloroform fumigation and incubation method, mineral nitrogen and net nitrogen mineralization were determined by measuring mineral N by steam distillation method.

Bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes population was greatly affected by the different cropping system. It was showing mean population was higher in turmeric fields (9 CFU x 104 g-1 of soil) followed by rice field (7.3 CFU x 104 g-1 of soil) and cotton fields (5.6 CFU x 104 g-1 of soil . Microbial biomass C was found to be higher (262.4 µg g-1of soil) in okra fields as compared with other fields. Biomass N and mineral N was found to be higher in turmeric field as compared to other crop fields.

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