Integrated assessment of the impact of conventional and organic farming systems on soil biochemical indicators
More details
Hide details
Institute of Soil Science, Environment Engineering and Management, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Leszczyńskiego 7, 20-069 Lublin, Poland
These authors had equal contribution to this work
Final revision date: 2024-03-06
Acceptance date: 2024-03-12
Publication date: 2024-04-09
Int. Agrophys. 2024, 38(2): 177-185
  • Soil enzymes were a sensitive indicator of changes in agroecosystems.
  • Organic farming had a positive effect on the biochemical parameters of the soil
  • The lowest enzyme activity was found in the soil of the plot with spring barley, and the highest in the plot with red clover.
  • The synthetic index showed the relationship between the activity of soil enzymes and soil fertility.
Organic farming is system with a growing interest worldwide. The objective of this paper was an assessment of the after-effects of perennial cultivation of spring barley, oats, and red clover in both conventional and organic systems on the chemical properties, enzymatic activity, and potential biochemical soil fertility index of the soil. The study analyzed the activity of acid phosphatase, alkaline phosphatase, urease and dehydrogenases as well as the potential biochemical soil fertility index of soil and the chemical parameters of soil. Soil material was collected from spring wheat grown after spring barley, oats and red clover, occurring in conventional or organic systems in 2009-2019. It has been shown that, compared to a conventional system, the perennial cultivation of red clover and cereals in the organic farming system has contributed to a significant improvement in the chemical (pHKCl by an average of 8%, total organic carbon – 18%, total nitrogen – 15%, N-NH4+ – 34%) and enzymatic (acid phosphatase – 29%, alkaline phosphatase – 67%, urease – 28% and dehydrogenases – 25%) soil quality indicators. The potential biochemical soil fertility index values were also significantly higher in soils in the organic farming system (by an average of 39%).
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Alvarez G., Shahzad T., Andanson L., Bahn M., Wallenstein M.D., and Fontaine S., 2018. Catalytic power of enzymes decreases with temperature: new insights for understanding soil C cycling and microbial ecology under warming. Global Change Biology, 24, 4238-4250.
Bai Z., Casparia T., Ruiperez Gonzaleza M., Batjesa N.H., Mäderb P., Bünemannb E.K., de Goedec R., Brussaardc L., Xud M., and Santos Ferreirae C.S., 2018. Effects of agricultural management practices on soil quality: A review of long-term experiments for Europe and China. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ., 265, 1-7.
Barone V., Puglisi I., Fragalà F., Stevanato P., and Baglieri A., 2019. Effect of living cells of microalgae or their extracts on soil enzyme activities. Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science, 65, 712-726.
Bastida F., Zsolnay A., Hernández T., and García C., 2008. Past, present and future of soil quality indices: A biological perspective. Geoderma, 147, 159-171.
Błońska E., Lasota J., and Zwydak M., 2017. The relationship between soil properties, enzyme activity and land use. For. Res. Pap., 78, 39-44.
Bobul’ská L., Fazekašová D., Angelovičová L., and Kotorová D., 2015. Impact of ecological and conventional farming systems on chemical and biological soil quality indices in a cold mountain climate in Slovakia, Biol. Agric. Horticulture, 31, 205-218.
Bowles T.M., Hollander A.D., Steenwerth K., and Jackson L.E., 2015. Tightly-coupled plant-soil nitrogen cycling: comparison of organic farms across an agricultural landscape. PLoS One, 10.
Chausali N., and Saxena J., 2021. Chapter 15 – Conventional versus organic farming: Nutrient status (Eds Vijay Singh Meena, Sunita Kumari Meena, Amitava Rakshit, Johnson Stanley, Cherukumalli Srinivasarao). Advances in Organic Farming, Woodhead Publishing, 241-254.
Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 of 28 June 2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91.
Dannehl T., Leithold G., and Brock C., 2017. The effect of C:N ratios on the fate of carbon from straw and green manure in soil. Eur. J. Soil Sci., 68, 988-998.
de Moraes J.C., and Urquiaga S., 2011. Nitrogen dynamics in soil management systems. I – flux of inorganic nitrogen (NH4+ and NO3-). R. Bras. Ci. Solo, 35, 1641-1649.
Dębska B., Drąg M., and Tobiasova E., 2012. Effect of post-harvest residue of maize, rapeseed, and sunflower on humic acids properties in various soils. Pol. J. Environ. Stud., 21, 603-613.
Fess T.L., and Benedito V.A., 2018. Organic versus conventional cropping sustainability: A comparative system analysis.Sustainability, 10, 272.
Frąc M., Hannula S.E., Bełka M., and Jędryczka M., 2018. Fungal biodiversity and their role in soil health. Frontiers in Microbiology, 9, 707.
Futa B., Oleszczuk P., Andruszczak S., Kwiecińska-Poppe E., and Kraska P., 2020. Effect of natural aging of biochar on soil enzymatic activity and physicochemical properties in long-term field experiment. Agronomy, 10, 449.
Futa B., Tajchman K., Steiner-Bogdaszewska Ż., Drozd L., and Gruszecki T.M., 2021. Preliminary results of effect of rotational grazing of farmed red deer (Cervus elaphus) on the biochemical status of soil. Agronomy, 11, 558.
Galindo F.S., Delate K., Heins B., Phillips H., Smith A., and Pagliari P.H., 2020. Cropping system and rotational grazing effects on soil fertility and enzymatic activity in an integrated organic crop-livestock system. Agronomy, 10, 803.
International Organization for Standardization. 2005. Soil Quality. In Determination of pH; ISO, 10390; ISO: Geneva, Switzerland.
International Organization for Standardization. 1998a. Soil Quality. In Determination of Organic Carbon by Sulfochromic Oxidation; International Organization for Standardization: Geneva, Switzerland.
International Organization for Standardization. 1998b. Soil Quality. In Determination of Total Nitrogen Content by Dry Combustion; International Organization for Standardization: Geneva, Switzerland.
International Organization for Standardization, 998c. Soil Quality – Determination of Nitrate Nitrogen, Ammonium Nitrogen and Total Soluble Nitrogen in Air-Dry Soils Using Calcium Chloride Solution as Extractant; ISO 14255; ISO: Geneva, Switzerland.
Kalembasa S., and Symanowicz B., 2012. Enzymatic activity of soil after applying various waste organic materials, ash, and mineral fertilizers. Pol. J. Environ. Stud., 21, 1635-1641.
Kobierski M., Lemanowicz J., Wojewódzki P., and Kondratowicz-Maciejewska K., 2020. The effect of organic and conventional farming systems with different tillage on soil properties and enzymatic activity. Agronomy, 10, 1809.
Koishi A., Bragazza L., Maltas A., Guillaume T., and Sinaj S., 2020. Long-term effects of organic amendments on soil organic matter quantity and quality in conventional cropping systems in Switzerland. Agronomy, 10, 1977.
Kompała-Bąba A., Bierza W., Sierka E., Błońska A., Besenyei L., and Woźniak G., 2021. The role of plants and soil properties in the enzyme activities of substrates on hard coal mine spoil heaps. Sci Rep., 11, 5155.
Kwiatkowski C.A., and Harasim E., 2020. Chemical properties of soil in four-field crop rotations under organic and conventional farming systems. Agronomy, 10, 1045.
Lal R., 2015. Restoring soil quality to mitigate soil degradation. Sustainability, 7, 5875-5895.
Lemanowicz J., Bartkowiak A., Lamparski R., Wojewódzki P., Pobereżny J., Wszelaczyńska E., and Szczepanek M., 2020. Physicochemical and enzymatic soil properties influenced by cropping of primary wheat under organic and conventional farming systems. Agronomy, 10, 1652.
Liu N., Zhang Y.J., Chang S., Kan H., and Lin L., 2012. Impact of frazing on soil carbon and microbial biomass in typical steppe and desert steppe of Inner Mongolia. PLoS ONE, 7.
Nannipieri P., Trasar-Cepeda C., and Dick R.P., 2018. Soil enzyme activity: A brief history and biochemistry as a basis for appropriate interpretations and meta-analysis. Biology Fertility of Soils, 54, 11-19.
Piotrowska A., Długosz J., Zamorski R., and Bogdanowicz P., 2012. Changes in some biological and chemical properties of an arable soil treated with the microbial biofertilizer UGmax. Pol. J. Environ. Stud., 21, 455-463.
Piotrowska-Długosz A., Kobierski M., and Długosz J., 2021. Enzymatic Activity and physicochemical properties of soil profiles of luvisols. Materials, 14, 6364.
Sawicka B., Krochmal-Marczak B., Pszczółkowski P., Bielińska E.J., Wójcikowska-Kapusta A., Barbaś P., and Skiba D., 2020. Effect of differentiated nitrogen fertilization on the enzymatic activity of the soil for sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L. [Lam.]) Cultivation. Agronom, 10, 1970.
Seufert V., Ramankutty N., and Foley J.A., 2012. Comparing the yields of organic and conventional agriculture. Nature, 485, 229-232.
Średnicka-Tober D., Obiedzińska A., Kazimierczak R., and Rembiałkowska E., 2016. Environmental impact of organic vs. conventional agriculture – A review. J. Res. Appl. Agric. Eng., 61, 204-211.
Szostek M., Szpunar-Krok E., Pawlak R., Stanek-Tarkowska J., and Ilek A., 2022. Effect of different tillage systems on soil organic carbon and enzymatic activity. Agronomy, 12, 208.
Tabatabai M.A., and Bremner J.M., 1969. Use of p-nitrophenyl phosphate for assay of soil phosphatase activity. Soil Biol. Biochem., 1, 301-307.
Thalmann A., 1968. Zur Methodik der Bestimmung der Dehydrogenase Aktivit in Boden mittels Triphenyltetra-zoliumchlorid (TTC). Landwirtsch Forsch., 21, 249-258.
Tuck S.L., Winqvist C., Mota F., Ahnström J., Turnbull L.A., and Bengtsson J., 2014. Land-use intensity and the effects of organic farming on biodiversity: a hierarchical meta-analysis. J. Applied Ecology, 51, 3, 746-755.
Vanegas J.J., Mejía K.B., and Avellaneda-Torres Z.L.M., 2018. Effect of ecological and conventional managements on soil enzymatic activities in coffee agroecosystems. Pesq. Agropec. Trop., 48, 420-428.
Wang Y., Tu C., Cheng L., Li C., Gentry L.F., Hoyt G.D., Zhang X., and Hu S., 2011. Long term impact of farming practices on soil organic carbon and nitrogen pools and microbial biomass and activity. Soil Till. Res., 117, 8-16.
Wesołowska S., Futa B., Myszura M., and Kobyłka A., 2022. Residual effects of different cropping systems on physicochemical properties and the activity of phosphatases of soil. Agriculture, 12, 693.
Wyszkowska J., and Wyszkowski M., 2003. Effect of cadmium and magnesium on enzymatic activity in soil. Polish J.Environ. Studies, 12(4), 479-485.
Zantua M.I. and Bremner J.M., 1975. Comparison of methods of assaying urease activity in soils. Soil Biol. Biochem., 7, 291-295.
Journals System - logo
Scroll to top