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Effects of agricultural practices on organic matter degradation in ditches.

Hunting ER, Vonk JA, Musters CJ, Kraak MH, Vijver MG - Sci Rep (2016)

Bottom Line: Agricultural practices can result in differences in organic matter (OM) and agricultural chemical inputs in adjacent ditches, but its indirect effects on OM composition and its inherent consequences for ecosystem functioning remain uncertain.In the case of OM collected from ditches adjacent hyacinth bulb fields, both microbial decomposition and invertebrate consumption were strongly retarded, likely resulting from sorption and accumulation of pesticides.This outcome illustrates that differences in agricultural practices can, in addition to direct detrimental effects on aquatic organisms, indirectly alter the functioning of adjacent aquatic ecosystems.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML), Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
Agricultural practices can result in differences in organic matter (OM) and agricultural chemical inputs in adjacent ditches, but its indirect effects on OM composition and its inherent consequences for ecosystem functioning remain uncertain. This study determined the effect of agricultural practices (dairy farm grasslands and hyacinth bulb fields) on OM degradation by microorganisms and invertebrates with a consumption and food preference experiment in the field and in the laboratory using natural OM collected from the field. Freshly cut grass and hyacinths were also offered to control for OM composition and large- and small mesh-sizes were used to distinguish microbial decomposition and invertebrate consumption. Results show that OM decomposition by microorganisms and consumption by invertebrates was similar throughout the study area, but that OM collected from ditches adjacent grasslands and freshly cut grass and hyacinths were preferred over OM collected from ditches adjacent to a hyacinth bulb field. In the case of OM collected from ditches adjacent hyacinth bulb fields, both microbial decomposition and invertebrate consumption were strongly retarded, likely resulting from sorption and accumulation of pesticides. This outcome illustrates that differences in agricultural practices can, in addition to direct detrimental effects on aquatic organisms, indirectly alter the functioning of adjacent aquatic ecosystems.

No MeSH data available.


Area in the Netherlands where the OM was collected and the field experiment was performed.Inset: topographic map exemplifying the typical organization of agricultural field and adjacent drainage ditches. Ditches where natural organic matter was collected are indicated with circles. Ditches used to evaluate decomposition and consumption of the different OM-treatments included these ditches and a number of adjacent ditches. Filled circles indicate area’s with ditches surrounded by fields with flower bulb fields (total six ditches used). Open circle indicates area where ditches are surrounded by grasslands (total six ditches used). Map derived from open source geodata available from www.opentopo.nl.
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f2: Area in the Netherlands where the OM was collected and the field experiment was performed.Inset: topographic map exemplifying the typical organization of agricultural field and adjacent drainage ditches. Ditches where natural organic matter was collected are indicated with circles. Ditches used to evaluate decomposition and consumption of the different OM-treatments included these ditches and a number of adjacent ditches. Filled circles indicate area’s with ditches surrounded by fields with flower bulb fields (total six ditches used). Open circle indicates area where ditches are surrounded by grasslands (total six ditches used). Map derived from open source geodata available from www.opentopo.nl.

Mentions: This study investigated the effect of agricultural practices on OM quality in adjacent drainage ditches by studying OM decomposition by microorganisms and consumption by invertebrates. To this end, decomposition and consumption tablets (DECOTABs) containing different natural organic matter sources related to different agricultural practices (dairy grassland farms vs. flower bulb fields) were offered to invertebrate communities within a number of highly connected agricultural drainage ditches (see Fig. 1 for a conceptual impression of the experimental setting and Fig. 2 for a map of the research area). Hyacinth bulb fields were used to represent flower bulb fields. Pesticide-free plant material of grass and hyacinth was also offered to control for the chemical composition of the OM. In addition, potential preferences for the specific OM types were tested in laboratory experiments with the keystone detritivore Asellus aquaticus.


Effects of agricultural practices on organic matter degradation in ditches.

Hunting ER, Vonk JA, Musters CJ, Kraak MH, Vijver MG - Sci Rep (2016)

Area in the Netherlands where the OM was collected and the field experiment was performed.Inset: topographic map exemplifying the typical organization of agricultural field and adjacent drainage ditches. Ditches where natural organic matter was collected are indicated with circles. Ditches used to evaluate decomposition and consumption of the different OM-treatments included these ditches and a number of adjacent ditches. Filled circles indicate area’s with ditches surrounded by fields with flower bulb fields (total six ditches used). Open circle indicates area where ditches are surrounded by grasslands (total six ditches used). Map derived from open source geodata available from www.opentopo.nl.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4759819&req=5

f2: Area in the Netherlands where the OM was collected and the field experiment was performed.Inset: topographic map exemplifying the typical organization of agricultural field and adjacent drainage ditches. Ditches where natural organic matter was collected are indicated with circles. Ditches used to evaluate decomposition and consumption of the different OM-treatments included these ditches and a number of adjacent ditches. Filled circles indicate area’s with ditches surrounded by fields with flower bulb fields (total six ditches used). Open circle indicates area where ditches are surrounded by grasslands (total six ditches used). Map derived from open source geodata available from www.opentopo.nl.
Mentions: This study investigated the effect of agricultural practices on OM quality in adjacent drainage ditches by studying OM decomposition by microorganisms and consumption by invertebrates. To this end, decomposition and consumption tablets (DECOTABs) containing different natural organic matter sources related to different agricultural practices (dairy grassland farms vs. flower bulb fields) were offered to invertebrate communities within a number of highly connected agricultural drainage ditches (see Fig. 1 for a conceptual impression of the experimental setting and Fig. 2 for a map of the research area). Hyacinth bulb fields were used to represent flower bulb fields. Pesticide-free plant material of grass and hyacinth was also offered to control for the chemical composition of the OM. In addition, potential preferences for the specific OM types were tested in laboratory experiments with the keystone detritivore Asellus aquaticus.

Bottom Line: Agricultural practices can result in differences in organic matter (OM) and agricultural chemical inputs in adjacent ditches, but its indirect effects on OM composition and its inherent consequences for ecosystem functioning remain uncertain.In the case of OM collected from ditches adjacent hyacinth bulb fields, both microbial decomposition and invertebrate consumption were strongly retarded, likely resulting from sorption and accumulation of pesticides.This outcome illustrates that differences in agricultural practices can, in addition to direct detrimental effects on aquatic organisms, indirectly alter the functioning of adjacent aquatic ecosystems.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML), Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
Agricultural practices can result in differences in organic matter (OM) and agricultural chemical inputs in adjacent ditches, but its indirect effects on OM composition and its inherent consequences for ecosystem functioning remain uncertain. This study determined the effect of agricultural practices (dairy farm grasslands and hyacinth bulb fields) on OM degradation by microorganisms and invertebrates with a consumption and food preference experiment in the field and in the laboratory using natural OM collected from the field. Freshly cut grass and hyacinths were also offered to control for OM composition and large- and small mesh-sizes were used to distinguish microbial decomposition and invertebrate consumption. Results show that OM decomposition by microorganisms and consumption by invertebrates was similar throughout the study area, but that OM collected from ditches adjacent grasslands and freshly cut grass and hyacinths were preferred over OM collected from ditches adjacent to a hyacinth bulb field. In the case of OM collected from ditches adjacent hyacinth bulb fields, both microbial decomposition and invertebrate consumption were strongly retarded, likely resulting from sorption and accumulation of pesticides. This outcome illustrates that differences in agricultural practices can, in addition to direct detrimental effects on aquatic organisms, indirectly alter the functioning of adjacent aquatic ecosystems.

No MeSH data available.