Serial manure amendments : effects on soil properties and root rot of sweet corn Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/4m90dz14h

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  • The effect of serial (multiple-year) organic matter (OM) amendment on soil properties has been described in some cropping systems, although less is known about the effect of serially amended field soils on soil-borne plant diseases. The objectives of this study were to describe the effects of the third and fourth years of annual, serial amendment with dairy manure solids on 1) soil physical and biological properties and 2) severity of sweet corn root rot. Plots were amended with five rates of separated dairy manure solids annually for three years. In the fourth year, plots were split and only half of each plot was re-amended. Soil physical properties [bulk density, free and occluded particulate organic matter (POM), soil water retention, total porosity, gravimetric moisture content] and biological properties [microbial activity (as hydrolysis of fluorescein diacetate; FDA) and microbial biomass-C] were assessed each year in all treatments. Root rot severity was assessed in situ and in the greenhouse with multiple sweet corn (Zea mays L. cv Golden Jubilee) bioassays conducted in the amended field soils. Necrosis of the radicle and nodal roots was assessed when plants reached the 6- leaf stage. Amendment rate was positively associated with increases in soil properties that serve as indicators of soil quality, such as POM content, total porosity, microbial biomass, and FDA activity. In the third year after amendment, weak root rot suppression was observed in-field and was associated with FDA activity. By the fourth year of serial amendment this trend was no longer evident, however evidence from the high-rate treatment that was not re-amended (3HNRA) pointed to an emerging suppressive mechanism that persisted up to 13 months after the third amendment. Factors that may be interacting over time to generate observed disease suppression in these serially amended soils include: short-term post-amendment microbiostasis, soil moisture retention, inoculum potential, and a novel suppressive mechanism.
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