Assessing soil quality under intensive cultivation and tree orchards in Southern Italy

  • Published source details Bonanomi G., D'Ascoli R., Antignani V., Capodilupo M., Cozzolino L., Marzaioli R., Puopolo G., Rutigliano F.A., Scelza R., Scotti R., Rao M.A. & Zoina A. (2011) Assessing soil quality under intensive cultivation and tree orchards in Southern Italy. Applied Soil Ecology, 47, 184-194.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Reduce fertilizer, pesticide or herbicide use generally

Action Link
Soil Fertility
  1. Reduce fertilizer, pesticide or herbicide use generally

    A replicated site comparison study, in spring 2008 across loam, sandy-loam and coarse sandy soils in Salerno district, Italy (Bonanomi et al. 2011) found that the functional diversity of soil microorganisms was 18% lower functional microbial diversity and 14% lower bacterial species richness, as well as 24% lower organic carbon, compared to the low-input systems. Broad differences in soil microbial community properties were found between farms classified as high-input, intensive, and low-input systems. The high-input systems were described as intensive cultivation systems under plastic cover, while low-input systems were described as orchards. Soil samples were taken from three plastic tunnels in each high-input system and from one area of orchard in each low-input system, then analysed for biochemical and biological properties in the laboratory.


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