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Advances in Organic Farming
2021, Pages 47-58

Microbial community structure in organic farming and their management

Anandkumar Naorema, Jaison Maverickb, Puja Singhb, Shiva Kumar Udayanac

Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Regional Research Station, Bhuj, Gujarat, India.


Soil health and quality is the foundation of organic farming and therefore maintenance of soil biological status is one of the crucial components in organic soils. Owing to the different nutrient management practices in organic farming as compared to the conventional ones, soil microbial abundance, diversity and its activities in organic soils are expected to be significantly different from the conventional soils. Moreover, other crop management practices also influence soil microbial activities and thus improve soil health. Therefore, unraveling the soil microbial aspects of organic soils is important and needs to be further studied. With the slow release of nutrients from organic materials, the type and abundance of soil microbial composition changes accordingly. This chapter aims to succinctly discuss the soil microbial conditions in organic soils and the underlying mechanisms of the variability. The soil microbial variability does not arise from the system per se but is closely linked to the type and amount of soil organic C pool, habitat protection and nutrient availability. This chapter also discusses some important indicators.

Keywords: Bacteria, Cyanobacteria, Fungi, Soil enzymes, Organic soils.

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