Soil Microbiota: A Key Bioagent for Revitalization of Soil Health in Hilly Regions

  • Amir Khan
  • Viabhav Kumar Upadhayay
  • Manisha Panwar
  • Ajay Veer Singh
Part of the Rhizosphere Biology book series (RHBIO)


Soils of hill regions encompass diverse organic and inorganic substances, where nutrient cycling of these matters and associated factors maintain soil fertility. However, due to rigorous anthropogenic activities and constant exposure of cold temperature the biological behavior of hilly soil get transformed which makes soil more acidic with low nutrient availability. These are the key factors for diminution of plant growth performance and productivity in the hilly regions. In the present era, various strategies such as agricultural interventions, use of chemical fertilizers, etc. are being practiced to improve the soil health. Such strategies are labor demanding, expensive, and affect the ecosystem negatively. Such practices in long term can change the physical, biological, and chemical properties of soil, and may also degrade the quality of soil by lowering down its fertility. On the contrary, microorganism based practices have the potential to restore soil health quite efficiently without disturbing the soil ecosystem. Soil-dwelling microorganisms can promote organic matter management, nutrient cycling, soil aggregation, and soil fertility by means of various mechanisms for sustainable agriculture. These mechanisms include nitrogen fixation, mobilization of phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and iron by the frequent secretion of assorted organic acids and low molecular weight metal chelators, i.e., siderophore. Moreover, soil microorganisms improve soil stability by producing organo-polysaccharides, which act as a gluing agent for soil aggregation. Therefore, microbial inoculation in the soil is considered a striking strategy for maintaining soil health without deteriorating soil physicochemical properties. This manuscript focuses on the splendid role of soil microorganisms in nutrient cycling and their implication as a sustainable management strategy for reinstating the fertility of hill regions soil for less reliance on chemical or artificial fertilizers.


Psychrophiles PGPR Soil health High hills Integrated nutrient management 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amir Khan
    • 1
  • Viabhav Kumar Upadhayay
    • 1
  • Manisha Panwar
    • 1
  • Ajay Veer Singh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyCollege of Basic Sciences and Humanities, GBPUA&TPantnagarIndia

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