Effects of Bioenergy Agroecosystems on Soil Microbial Communities

There is growing societal interest in management of agricultural systems for bioenergy feedstock production, but further environmental evaluation of these systems is warranted. Measurement of soil microbial communities and activity may be useful in environmental evaluations of alternative bioenergy cropping systems, as they are important components of soil health. We characterized microbial community structure and soil enzyme activities within some of the WICST agricultural systems that represent potential bioenergy cropping scenarios for future corn-based or cellulosic biofuels. Our general hypothesis was that microbial community structure and activity would be distinct under varying vegetation and management treatments.

Authors: Laura A. Lipps and Teri C. Balser