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Effects of pesticides on the microbiological community in soils of agroecosystems

Soils are hotspots for biodiversity and support essential agriculture ecosystem functions such as nutrient cycling. At the same time, soils are exposed to a wide range of natural and anthropogenic stressors that affect this biodiversity. Among all stressors, pesticides (PPPs) receive considerable attention. After application in agricultural production, a considerable amount of PPPs enters the soil, where they interact with the microorganisms present and can potentially lead to adverse effects. However, to date, there is no universally applicable system to assess the impact of PPPs in soil agroecosystems. The high variability and complexity of soils makes it difficult to establish reference values and ranges of effects for the different natural microbiomes.

In a collaborative project with Agroscope , our research group is investigating the impact of PPPs on soil microbiome structure and function. The aim is to design an index using soil microorganisms as degradation indicators for soil agricultural ecosystem functions. Finally, based on microbiomes as biomarkers, the index should be applicable in the long term assessment of PPP impact on soils in agroecosystems and contribute to sustainable management.

Institute for Ecopreneurship

FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland School of Life Sciences, Institute for Ecopreneurship Hofackerstrasse 30 CH - 4132 Muttenz
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