State of the Art Progress with SoildiverAgro
Few data about the agricultural soil biodiversity along different EU pedoclimatic regions and its role on crop production.[1] Evaluation of soil biodiversity at different ecological levels in relation with soil, climate and crop systems. Assessment about relationships between soil diversity and crop yields.
Lack of standardized methods for the whole soil biodiversity assessment and monitoring.[2] Development of sensitive and representative methods for the evaluation of microorganisms and soil fauna diversity in European croplands.
Although addition of plant growth promoting microorganisms has been encouraged to increase crop yield, little is known about its effect on native microbial communities and time evolution.[3] Assessment of addition of plant growth promoting microorganisms on soil genetic and functional biodiversity, with monitoring of its real impact on soil native organisms.
Little applied knowledge about mechanisms and interactions of soil microbes and plant health, growth and development.[4] [5] Advances in soil microbes` use and management to promote plant growth and protection against diseases. Products based on soil microbes formulations will be developed.
Low use of plant-microbes interactions for reduction of nutrient inputs and low development of crop rotations, multiple cropping and intercropping.[6] Development of new diversified cropping systems to reduce water use, fertilizers and pesticides.
Scarce knowledge and application of catch crops to retain nutrients in the field between the principal crops.[7] Finding out whether catch crops would improve soil structure and quality and promote soil biodiversity by decreasing nutrient and carbon loss from soils.
Use of pesticides with a schedule calendar, applied independently of the risk of infection.[8] [9] Development and modelling of pest alert systems to reduce the use of pesticides and to preserve biodiversity.
Little use of trap crops in multiple cropping and rotations for pest control.[10] [11] Reductions in the use of pesticides, increases in the crops health and improvements in soil biodiversity by trap crops.
Low knowledge about the potential use of by-products to increase soil biodiversity in European agriculture.[12] [13] Findings in the potential use of adequate organic and industrial by-products as soil amendment as first step of a new fertilization to improve soil biodiversity and C sequestration.
Lack of knowledge on the interactions between soil biodiversity and delivery of ecosystem services or management practices.[14] [15] [16] Advances in the effects of soil genetic and functional biodiversity on the ecosystem services provided by agricultural soils.
Scarce assessment about the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of soil biodiversity management in European agricultural areas.[17] [18] Quantification of costs and benefits for farms profitability, general society and environment of management practices based on soil biodiversity exploitation and conservation.
Little dissemination about the existing knowledge about soil biodiversity management benefits on reducing inputs and promoting plant growth and health.[19] [20] Different case studies will increase end-users knowledge about the use of soil biodiversity to reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers together with increases in crops growth, health and/or value.
The knowledge created in the research institution flow slowly to the end-users and in many cases they are not reached.[21] [22] The knowledge created in the project will be directly transferred by continuous and active end-users engagement.
Effectiveness of Fourier-Transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy in many soil characteristics including some microbiological properties. However, the use of FTIR so estimate soil biological and genetic diversity as provided by metagenomics and next generation sequencing has not been developed yet.[23] [24] [25] Calibration of FTIR by chemometric analyses to estimate microbial genetic and functional diversity, nematodes diversity and biodiversity indices as a rapid and cost-effective tool for rapid soil assessment and monitoring.

[1] Kazemi, H., Klug, H., Kamkar, B., 2018. New services and roles of biodiversity in modern agroecosystems: A review. Ecol. Ind. 93, 1126-1135.

[2] Orgiazzi, A., et al., 2015. Soil biodiversity and DNA barcodes: opportunities and challenges.

[3] Etesami, H., Maheshwari, D.K., 2018. Use of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs) with multiple plant growth promoting traits in stress agriculture: action mechanisms and future prospects. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 156, 225-246.

[4] Sahu, P.K., et al., 2018. Connecting microbial capabilities with the soil and plant health: Options for agricultural sustainability. Ecological Indicators.

[5] Wang, S., Li, T., Zheng, Z., 2018. Response of soil aggregate-associated microbial and nematode communities to tea plantation age. Catena 171, 475-484.

[6] Duchene, O., Vian, J.F., Celette, F., 2017. Intercropping with legume for agroecological cropping systems: Complementarity and facilitation processes and the importance of soil microorganisms. A review. Agric. Ecos. Env. 240, 148-161.

[7] Valkama, E., Lemola, R., Känkänen, H., Turtola, E., 2015. Meta-analysis of the effects of undersown catch crops on nitrogen leaching loss and grain yields in the Nordic countries. Agric. Ecos. Env. 203, 93-101.

[8] Singh, M., Vasileiadis, P., Junger, A., 2018. Practical Implementation of the Principles of the Sustainable Use of Pesticides. In: Advances in Chemical Pollution, Environmental Management and Protection, Volume 2. Elsevier, pp. 133-164.

[9] Pertot, I., Caffi, T., Rossi, V., Mugnai, L., et al. 2017. A critical review of plant protection tools for reducing pesticide use on grapevine and new perspectives for the implementation of IPM in viticulture. Crop Protection 97, 70-84.

[10] Parker, J.E., Crowder, D.W., Eigenbrode, S.D., Snyder, W.E., 2016. Trap crop diversity enhances crop yield. Agri. Ecos. Env. 232, 254-262.

[11] Pannacci, E., Lattanci, B., Tei, F., 2017. Non-chemical weed management strategies in minor crops: A review. Crop Protection 96, 44-58.

[12] Liu, T., Chen, X., Hu, F., Ran, W. et al. 2016. Carbon-rich organic fertilizers to increase soil biodiversity: Evidence from a meta-analysis of nematode communities. Agri. Ecos. Env. 232, 199-207.

[13] van der Bom, F., et al. 2018. Long-term fertilisation form, level and duration affect the diversity, structure and functioning of soil microbial communities in the field. Soil Biol. Biochem 122, 91-103.

[14] Bender, S.F., Wagg, C., van der Heijden, M.G.A., 2016. An Underground Revolution: Biodiversity and Soil Ecological Engineering for Agricultural Sustainability. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 31, 440-452.

[15] Kazemi, H., Klug, H., Kambar, B., 2018. New services and roles of biodiversity in modern agroecosystems: A review. Ecological Indicators 93, 1126-1135.

[16] Drobnik, T., Greiner, L., Keller, A., Grêt-Regamey, A., 2018. Soil quality indicators – from soil functions to ecosystem services. Ecological Indicators 94, 151-169.

[17] Uzoh, I.M., et al., 2018. Rhizosphere biodiversity as a premise for application in bio-economy. Agri. Ecos. Env. 265, 524-534.

[18] Kanter, D.R., Musumba, M., Wood, S.L.R., Palm, C., 2018. Evaluating agricultural trade-offs in the age of sustainable development. Agricultural Systems 163, 73-88.

[19] Campbell, G.A., Lilly, A., Corstanje, R., Mayr, T.R., Black, H.I.J., 2017. Are existing soils data meeting the needs of stakeholders in Europe? An analysis of practical use from policy to field. Land Use Policy 69, 211-223.

[20] Rolf, W., Pauleit, S., Wiggering, H., 2018. A stakeholder approach, door opener for farmland and multifunctionality in urban green infrastructure. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening.

[21] Brédif, H., Simon, L., Valenzisi, M., 2017. Stakeholder motivation as a means toward a proactive shared approach to caring for biodiversity: Application on Plateau de Millevaches. Land Use Policy 61, 12-23.

[22] Hijbeek, R., Cormont, A., Hazeu, G., Bechini, L., et al. 2017. Do farmers perceive a deficienciy of soil organic matter? A European and farm level analysis. Ecological Indicators 83, 390-403.

[23] Comino, F., Aranda, V., García-Ruiz, R., Ayora-Cañada, M.J., Domínguez-Vidal, A., 2018. Infrared spectroscopy as a tool for the assessment of soil biological quality in agricultural soils under contrasting management practices. Ecological Indicators 87, 117-126.

[24] Pasquini, C., 2018. Near infrared spectroscopy: A mature analytical technique with new perspectives – A review. Analytica Chimica Acta 1026 8-36.

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