Methanotrophic bacteria are crucial in the regulation of methane concentration in the atmosphere and therefore for regulating our climate.
Since recently, Dutch farmers are required to grow cover crops in mixtures of at least two plant species.
In the Clever Cropping Project we investigated whether mixtures of cover crops have beneficial effects on soil microbiology and associated functions.
In long-term field experiments and laboratory incubations, we assessed emissions of greenhouse gasses and the diversity, abundance, and activity of microbial groups involved in environmentally relevant processes.
While in laboratory incubations we could clearly find increased beneficial microbial functioning associated with mixtures of cover crop residues, we could not observe this in a 5-year field experiment.
Overall, the use of cover crop mixtures did not have significant beneficial effects on soil microbial functioning but also no negative effects on for example greenhouse gas emissions.
In aquaculture, diseases caused by the fungal-like oomycete Saprolegnia, but also ectoparasites are causing significant declines in fish and crayfish populations. To date, these diseases are controlled in aquaculture mainly by formalin treatment.
ParaFishControl: Advanced Tools and Research Strategies for Parasite Control in European farmed fishAquaculture is the fastest growing animal food production sector in the world and is an increasingly important contributor to global food supply.
The aim of the Saprofeed project was to enhance natural biocontrol of root-infecting pathogenic fungi in arable soils via stimulation of the growth of saprotrophic fungi (growing on dead organic materials). The basic idea, indicated in the picture, is that stimulation of saprotrophic fungi will lead to direct or indirect (via bacteria) competitive suppression of root-infecting pathogens.
Panama disease of banana, caused by the soil-borne fungus Fusarium oxysporum f.s.
Unravelling the mechanisms underlying health and productivity promoting agricultural practices by fine-mapping rhizosphere communitiesPlant species shape their own rhizosphere community, and on its turn selected soil biota shape the growth and development of plants.
Soils are considered principally non-renewable resources. Soil ecosystem services have a large impact on numerous societal demands and are of high economic importance. Within the area of sustainable agriculture, it is expected that agricultural production will increasingly rely on the natural nutrient retention and recycling capabilities of soil. This project seeks to provide a fundamental scientific understanding of soil functioning and the resulting ecosystem services in Brazilian and Dutch bio-economies based on innovative microbial ecology and soil science studies. Focus is in sugarcane crop production systems by linking soil microbial composition and functioning, waste residues recycling, fertilizers, soil factors and greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions through integrating and complementing the strong expertise of Brazilian and Dutch researchers from different areas of agronomy, soil sciences, plant nutrition, biogeochemistry, soil ecology, microbial ecology, ecological genomics, molecular ecology and bioinformatics. We will quantify the microbial functional groups and microbial abundance of C and N cycle genes and measure GHG emissions (CO2, CH4 and N2O) from soils during the productive cycle of the plant under different management practices and verify the temporal and spatial variability of these emissions in the evaluated treatments with different concentrations of sugarcane vinasse residue combined with N mineral fertilizers in combination with straw additions, and determine the conditions under which such GHG emissions can be counteracted, or minimized most. The proposed project will enhance fundamental scientific understanding of the interactive role of the microbial networks operating in soil and the consequences of bio-based agricultural management practices for the functioning of soil systems.
Predicting and preventing emergent cyanobacterial blooms in complex man-made Dutch hydrological networks on daily and yearly time scalesPredicting and preventing emergent cyanobacterial blooms in complex man-made Dutch hydrological networks on daily and yearly time scales