Long-Term Effects of Fertilization on Soil Organism Diversity

  • Tancredo Augusto Feitosa de SouzaEmail author
  • Helena Freitas
Part of the Sustainable Agriculture Reviews book series (SARV, volume 28)


Fertilization applied in long-term farming systems exerts a crucial influence on soil organism diversity and soil properties. This chapter reviews the use of fertilizers for conventional and alternative farming systems in field experiments in order to improve our understanding of the temporal changes on soil organic carbon, soil total nitrogen, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi diversity and soil macroarthropods during their long-term utilization. We introduce what are the main effects of long-term fertilization systems on several agricultural farming systems around the world. We also present our experimental data about long-term utilization of mineral and organic fertilization from wheat and rapeseed field experiments. Published field studies show that the continuous use of mineral fertilizers might affect negatively soil organic carbon and total nitrogen, which in turn modifies the community composition of macroarthropods, and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, whereas organic fertilizers might affect positively these soil properties and soil organism diversity. Our review shows that inputs of organic matter sources can change positively soil properties and annual crop development and yield. Our review also highlights the importance of considering the long-term effect of organic fertilization combined with agricultural management practices, such as stubble retention, fertilization with micronutrient, and inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and N-fixing bacteria on the maintenance of soil fertility and to improve the diversity of soil organisms.


Fertilization systems Mineral (NPK) fertilization Organic fertilization Sustainable agriculture 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tancredo Augusto Feitosa de Souza
    • 1
    Email author
  • Helena Freitas
    • 2
  1. 1.Agrarian Science Center, Department of Soils and Rural EngineeringFederal University of ParaibaAreiaBrazil
  2. 2.Centre for Functional Ecology, Department of Life SciencesUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal

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