Microbial N cycling functional gene abundance in forage grazed pasture soils and links to N2O emissions
Peer Reviewed StatusNon-Peer Reviewed
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Introduction of legumes such as cicer milkvetch (Astragalus cicer) and sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia) in forage pasture is a common practice to improve yields and reduce bloat, but how this affects soil microbial community, particularly those involved in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (CO2, N2O, CH4), is still poorly understood. The research was conducted at Termuende Research Farm at Lanigan, SK. The pasture was a grass-legume stand dominated by brome grass (Bromus madritensis) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa). In 2015, cicer milkvetch and sainfoin were sod-seeded on the existing pasture and here we compared these to the original pasture composition (control). Static chambers were used to monitor GHGs, PRSTM probes were used for monitoring soil nutrients, environmental conditions (daily temperature and precipitation) were recorded on site and soils were sampled for microbial analysis in 2017-18. Quantitative real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) was conducted to quantify the abundance of N cycling functional genes (amoA, nirS/nirK and nosZ). Gene abundances are linked with gas, soil and environment conditions to explore their role in N2O emission. This research will give a more comprehensive understanding of key drivers/indicators of soil N cycling and GHG, which will help shape management practices that mitigate GHG emission in grazed forage pasture.
Part OfSoils and Crops Workshop
soil N cycling
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