Effect of biological amendments on soil microbial properties and performance of pome fruit trees

SUNScholar Research Repository

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Stassen, P. J. C.
dc.contributor.advisor Botha, A.
dc.contributor.author Van Schoor, Louise
dc.contributor.other Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Agrisciences. Dept. of Horticulture.
dc.date.accessioned 2010-08-13T14:44:48Z en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2010-09-08T13:10:45Z
dc.date.available 2012-01-22T22:10:03Z
dc.date.issued 2009-12
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/4602
dc.description Thesis (PhD(Agric))--Stellenbosch University, 2009.
dc.description.abstract ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The global movement in agriculture is towards more environmentally friendly, sustainable production practices, since the role of soil microbial functions in ensuring crop production and soil fertility has become more evident in agricultural systems. Furthermore, with the impeding phase-out of methyl bromide, apple replant disease (ARD) is becoming an increasingly important problem and biological management practises are needed. Since microbial activity is generally carbon-limited in agricultural soil, it is widely accepted that management practices providing a range of organic compounds on a regular basis will tend to maintain an active and diverse microbial population. It was hypothesised that the application of various biological amendments can affect soil microbial numbers and function, thereby having a positive effect on fruit tree growth and yield. The effect of continued applications of organic material, various microbial inoculants and biostimulants on tree performance were evaluated in conventional management systems. Field trials were established in a conventional pear orchard, potential apple replant disease sites, as well as an optimally managed, high density apple orchard under controlled fertigation. The use of compost, compost extracts, a Bacillus inoculant and humates were investigated intensively. Furthermore, to improve our understanding of soil biological systems a combination of simple, practical methods were used to evaluate the effect of biological amendments on soil microbial properties and effects were related to tree performance. Regular application of compost extract in combination with compost showed the most significant effect in improving tree performance in commercial pome fruit orchards under various conditions. In the pear orchard, cumulative yield over the first two seasons was improved by more than 50% compared to controls, while in the fertigated orchard yield was improved by 22%. Biological amendments also showed improved growth in orchards suffering from stunted growth symptoms typical of ARD. However, in severe ARD cases methyl bromide fumigation showed the most consistent effects. Other biological amendments which showed positive effects on yield were application of Bacillus inoculants (Biostart®) in combination with a labile C source and a low dosage humate product, as well as a combination of compost and humates. It was clear that a combination of labile organic matter and a diverse group of microorganisms showed most promise. Although for some specific treatments increased microbial numbers and activity may have resulted in improved tree performance, in general, changes in culture-based plate counts, soil enzyme activity and carbon utilisation profiles could not be used as an indicator of yield. It was suggested that improved synchronisation of nutrient release and plant uptake, as well as microbial phytohormone production, may play an important role in improving tree performance with application of biological amendments. More research is needed on the exact mechanisms through which compost extracts improve yield and studies on root growth proliferation, as well as effects in the rhizosphere are recommended. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Binne lanbouverband is daar tans wêreldwyd die neiging om die uitwerking van produksie-praktykte op die omgewing in ag te neem en sodoende meer verantwoordelik op te tree. Omdat die belangrike rol wat grondmikro-organisme funksionering in volhoubare verbouingspraktyke speel nou deeglik besef word, word meer volhoubare bestuurspraktyke bepleit. Hiermee saam, noodsaak aspekte soos die uitfasering van metielbromied vir die beheer van appelhervestigingsiekte, dat biologiese bestuurspraktyke meer aandag geniet. Daar word geredelik aanvaar dat gereelde toediening en aanvulling van organiese materiaal ‘n aktiewe, diverse mikrobe populasie in die grond tot gevolg sal hê. Die hipotese is gestel dat die toediening van ‘n verskeidenheid biologiese produkte grondmikrobe getalle en werking gunstig kan beïnvloed. Dit kan moontlik weer aanleiding gee tot positiewe reaskies wat die groei en drag van vrugtebome betref. In hierdie studie is die uitwerking van voortgesette toedienings van organiese materiaal, mikrobiese inokulante, asook biostimulante, op die prestasievermoë van vrugtebome ondersoek. Veldproewe is uitgelê in ‘n konvensionele peerboord, verskeie boorde met moontlike appelhervestigingsiekte probleme, asook ‘n hoëdigtheidsaanplanting appelboord onder optimale bestuur. ‘n Deeglike ondersoek is gedoen met betrekking tot die gebruik van kompos, komposekstrak, Bacillus-inokulante en humate. Eenvoudige, praktiese metodes is aangewend om vas te stel hoe biologiese toevoegings grondmikrobe eienskappe beïnvloed en of dit verband hou met veranderinge in boomprestasie. Die studie het aangetoon dat die gereelde toediening van komposekstrak saammet kompos, betekenisvolle verbetering in boomprestasie van kernvrugboorde teweeg bring onder verskeie omstandighede. Die kumulatiewe opbrengs van ‘n peerboord is oor twee seisoene met meer as 50% verhoog teenoor die kontrole. In ‘n optimaal bestuurde appelboord onder sproeibemesting, is opbrengs met 22% verhoog in vergelyking met die kontrole. Biologiese toevoegings het ook groei verbeter in boorde waar appelhervestigingsiekte bome se groei vertraag het. In die geval van ernstige appelhervestigingsimptome het metielbromied egter steeds die mees konstante positiewe uitwerking gehad. Ander biologiese toevoegings wat ‘n gunstige uitwerking op opbrengs getoon het, was ‘n kombinasie van Bacillus inokulante, ‘n lae dosis humaat en ‘n aktiewe koolstofbron, asook kompos in kombinasie met humate. Dit is duidelik dat ‘n kombinasie van ‘n maklik afbreekbare koolstofbron (soos kompos) tesame met ‘n diverse groep mikroorganismes mees belowend is vir gebruik in biologiese verbouingssisteme. Resultate toon dat veranderings in aantal organismes gemeet deur plaattellings, die aktiwiteit van grondensieme, en verbruikspotensiaal van verskillende koolstofbronne, nie as ‘n aanduiding van boomprestasie gebruik kan word nie. Daar is voorgestel dat verbeterde sinkronisasie van voedingselementvrystelling en plantopname, sowel as produksie van plantgroeihormone deur mikrobe, moontlik ‘n rol speel by boomreaksies op biologiese toevoegings. Meer navorsing wat verband hou met die meganisme waardeur komposekstrak opbrengs verbeter, is nodig. Verder word studies op fynwortelontwikkeling sowel as aspekte van die wortelrisosfeer aanbeveel. af_ZA
dc.format.extent 253 p. : ill.
dc.language.iso en_ZA
dc.publisher Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University
dc.subject Apple replant disease en
dc.subject Bacillus en
dc.subject Compost en
dc.subject Compost extract en
dc.subject Soil fertilisation en
dc.subject Dissertations -- Horticulture en
dc.subject Theses -- Horticulture en
dc.subject Soil microbiology en
dc.subject Orchards -- Soils en
dc.title Effect of biological amendments on soil microbial properties and performance of pome fruit trees en
dc.type Thesis
dc.rights.holder Stellenbosch University
dc.embargo.terms 2011-11-23


Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record