Paul Mäder

Paul Mäder
Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau | FiBL · Soil Sciences

Dr.

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249
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Publications

Publications (249)
Article
Maintaining soil quality for agricultural production is a critical challenge, especially in the tropics. Due to the focus on environmental performance and the provision of soil ecosystem services, organic farming and agroforestry systems are proposed as alternative options to conventional monoculture farming. Soil processes underlying ecosystem ser...
Article
Full-text available
Conventional high-input farming systems in Europe are often regarded as unsustainable with severe environ- mental impacts on biodiversity, soils, water and climate. Low-input farming approaches, such as organic farming, have been proposed to reduce environmental impacts while further improving soil properties such as soil organic matter content and...
Article
Full-text available
Intercropping is a sustainable agroecological tool known to provide multiple benefits to farmers. Several studies have shown that arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) play a key role for the improved grain yields in intercropping systems through facilitative nutrient and water uptake via the common mycorrhizal network (CMN), yet little is known on th...
Article
Full-text available
Intercropping is a well-established practice to enhance the yield in low-input agriculture, and beneficial microbes such as arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) combined with plant growth promoting rhizobacteria are being used as an effective and sustainable measure to improve yields. In this study, we tested if biofertilizers can not only enhance th...
Chapter
Full-text available
Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) is an important crop in arid zones and plays significant ecological and socioeconomic roles. During the last decades, date palm groves were subjected to degradation due to extensive soil exploitation and low soil fertility. The use of biological techniques is essential to improve date palm development. The present wo...
Article
Full-text available
The low fertility in soils where date palms are grown in Morocco is the first cause leading to low yields when compared to other producing countries. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of organic amendment on mineral nutrition and yield of Majhoul date palm cultivar under Moroccan oasis conditions in relation with soil fertility. A...
Article
Full-text available
Most nitrogen (N) in organic fertilizers must be mineralized to become available to plants, a process in which microorganisms play crucial roles. Droughts may impact microorganisms associated with the N cycle, negatively affecting N mineralization and plant N supply. The effects of drought on N-related processes may further be shaped by the farming...
Preprint
Full-text available
In this study, we checked the potential of bioirrigation – defined as a process of hydraulic lift where transfer of water occurs from deep soil layers to top soil layers through plant roots. We tested this in a pigeon pea (PP) – finger millet (FM) intercropping system in a field study for two consecutive growing seasons (2016/17 and 2017/18) at two...
Article
Full-text available
Drought and agricultural management influence soil microorganisms with unknown consequences for the functioning of agroecosystems. We simulated drought periods in organic (biodynamic) and conventional wheat fields and monitored effects on soil water content, microorganisms and crops. Above the wilting point, water content and microbial respiration...
Article
Full-text available
Assessing soil microbial functionality has the potential to reveal meaningful effects of soil management on soil processes influencing soil quality. We used MicroResp™ to assess microbial respiration upon the addition of six carbon substrates (glucose, alanine, aminobutyric acid, N-acetyl glucosamine, alpha-ketoglutaric acid, and lignin). From this...
Article
Full-text available
Pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) and finger millet (Eleusine coracana) are staple food crops for millions of the rural population in Asia and Africa. We tested, in field trials over three consecutive seasons at two sites in India, an intercropping and biofertilization scheme to boost their yields under low-input conditions. Pigeon pea seedlings were rais...
Article
Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) is an important crop in arid zones and plays significant ecological and socio-economic roles. During the last decades, date palm groves were subjected to degradation due to extensive soil exploitation and low soil fertility. The use of biological techniques is essential to improve date palm development. The present w...
Article
Full-text available
Pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) and finger millet (Eleusine coracana) are staple food crops for millions of the rural population in Asia and Africa. We tested, in field trials over three consecutive seasons at two sites in India, an intercropping and biofertilization scheme to boost their yields under low-input conditions. Pigeon pea seedlings were rais...
Article
Full-text available
Pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) and finger millet (Eleusine coracana) are staple food crops for millions of the rural population in Asia and Africa. We tested, in field trials over three consecutive seasons at two sites in India, an intercropping and biofertilization scheme to boost their yields under low-input conditions. Pigeon pea seedlings were rais...
Article
Full-text available
Soil salinity continuously threatens the sustainability of several economically strategic crop production systems in Tunisia, especially in the arid and Saharan areas. In addition, it also affects microbial populations associated with the roots of crop plants, which are known to contribute efficiently to crop’s productivity and adaptation to enviro...
Article
Full-text available
Projected climate change and rainfall variability will affect soil microbial communities, biogeochemical cycling and agriculture. Nitrogen (N) is the most limiting nutrient in agroecosystems and its cycling and availability is highly dependent on microbial driven processes. In agroecosystems, hydrolysis of organic nitrogen (N) is an important step...
Article
Full-text available
Agro-ecosystems experience huge losses of land every year due to soil erosion induced by poor agricultural practices such as intensive tillage. Erosion can be minimized by the presence of stable soil aggregates, the formation of which can be promoted by bacteria. Some of these microorganisms have the ability to produce exopolysaccharides and lipopo...
Article
Questions The assembly of arable weed communities is the result of local filtering by agricultural management and crop competition. Therefore, soil seedbanks can reflect the effects of long‐term cumulative field management and crop sequences on weed communities. Moreover, soil seedbanks provide strong estimates of future weed problems but also of p...
Article
Full-text available
Demands upon the sustainability of farming are increasing in step with climate change and diversity loss. Organic farming offers a viable approach. To further improve organic management, three strategies with potential to enhance soil quality are being tested in a long-term trial since 2002 on a clay loam in temperate Switzerland: reduced tillage v...
Chapter
Forty years of research in the DOK trial resulted in more than 120 peer-reviewed publications investigating effects of farming systems on a wide range of scientific disciplines within agronomic and environmental research. It is the oldest still existing system comparison trial comparing organic and conventional agricultural practice worldwide. The...
Article
Full-text available
Assessment of the suitability of different labile carbon fractions as soil quality indicators for agricultural management in 10 European long-term field experiments. We tested their sensitivity to agricultural management and linkage with various soil parameters. The concentration of labile carbon fractions were increased in reduced tillage and high...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Date palm is an important crop in Morocco, Tunisia and other drylands with a high agricultural, economic and cultural value. Harsh environmental conditions of those areas, further accelerated by climate change and the spread of root diseases, threaten date palm cultivation. To overcome limitations in productivity, high inputs of mineral fertilizers...
Article
Although organic cropping systems are promoted for their environmental benefits, little is known about their long-term impact on nitrogen (N) fate in the soil-plant-atmosphere system. In this paper, we analyze two long-term experiments: DOK in Switzerland (39-yr) and Foulum organic in Denmark (19-yr). Four treatments were considered in each experim...
Article
Full-text available
Soil nematode communities and food web indices can inform about the complexity, nutrient flows and decomposition pathways of soil food webs, reflecting soil quality. Relative abundance of nematode feeding and life‐history groups are used for calculating food web indices, i.e. maturity index (MI), enrichment index (EI), structure index (SI) and chan...
Article
Full-text available
Urban gardens are popular green spaces that have the potential to provide essential ecosystem services, support human well-being, and at the same time foster biodiversity in cities. We investigated the impact of gardening activities on five soil functions and the relationship between plant (600 spp.) and soil fauna (earthworms: 18 spp., springtails...
Article
Full-text available
Reduced tillage reduces soil erosion and increases topsoil organic matter compared with conventional tillage. However, yields are often reported to be lower, presumably, due to increased weed pressure and a slower N mineralization under organic farming conditions. The effects of reduced tillage compared with ploughing on weed infestation and winter...
Article
Full-text available
Long‐term agricultural fertilization strategies gradually change soil properties including the associated microbial communities. Cultivated crops recruit beneficial microbes from the surrounding soil environment via root exudates. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effects of long‐term fertilization strategies across field sites on the rhiz...
Article
Wheat is a staple food crop and a major source of both the essential micronutrient zinc (Zn) and the toxic heavy metal cadmium (Cd) for humans. Since Zn and Cd are chemically similar, increasing Zn concentrations in wheat grains (biofortification), while preventing Cd accumulation, is an agronomic challenge. We used two Swiss agricultural long-term...
Article
Full-text available
Soil suppressiveness to pathogens is defined as the capacity of soil to regulate soil-borne pathogens. It can be managed by agricultural practices, but the effects reported so far remain inconsistent. Soil suppressiveness is difficult to predict and for this reason different soil properties have been linked to it with the aim to find informative in...
Article
Full-text available
Agricultural practices contribute considerably to emissions of greenhouse gases. So far, knowledge on the impact of organic compared to non-organic farming on soil-derived nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) emissions is limited. We investigated N2O and CH4 fluxes with manual chambers during 571 days in a grass-clover– silage maize – green manure...
Article
Full-text available
Soil is the foundation of ecosystem functioning in urban green spaces and provides key ecosystem services for a livable city (Zhu et al., 2018). Urban soils are a mixture of natural soil-forming factors and anthropogenic activities (Shuster and Dadio, 2018). Therefore, they require an adapted set of indicators for a soil quality assessment. Soil qu...
Presentation
Full-text available
In this presentation I present preliminary results from a cross country experiment comparing conventional and eco-intensive agroecosystems responses to altered rain regimes. We used structural equation model (SEM) to assess how management and rain regimes could influence N-cycle related ecosystem services directly or indirectly through modification...
Article
There is an urgent need to identify and evaluate management practices for their biophysical potential to maintain productivity under climate change while mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from individual cropping systems under specific pedo-climatic conditions. Here, we examined, through DayCent modeling, the long-term impact of soil manage...
Article
Full-text available
The majority of soil organic nitrogen (N) is bound in protein-like compounds and therefore its proteolysis in peptides and amino acids is considered the initial and rate limiting step of N mineralization. Proteolysis of N bound in organic fertilizer and subsequent provisioning for crops is a central element in agro-ecological intensification. Long-...
Article
In this paper we present effects of four paired agricultural management practices (organic matter (OM) addition versus no organic matter input, no-tillage (NT) versus conventional tillage, crop rotation versus monoculture, and organic agriculture versus conventional agriculture) on five key soil quality indicators, i.e., soil organic matter (SOM) c...
Article
Full-text available
Gardens are hot spots for urban biodiversity and provide habitats for many plant and animal species, both above- and below-ground. Furthermore, gardens provide a wide range of ecosystem services, including carbon (C) storage and nutrient cycling. Although the soil is the foundation of sustainable gardens providing those ecosystem services, very lit...
Poster
Full-text available
Here we present SOC contents and 14C activity under two different farming practices in a long-term agricultural experiment at Therwil, Switzerland. We compare biodynamic farming (biodyn) with conventional farming (conmin) in different soil layers by analyzing bulk SOC and functional SOC fractions.
Article
N2O is a major greenhouse gas and the majority of anthropogenic N2O emissions originate from agriculturally managed soils. Therefore, developing N2O mitigation strategies is a key challenge for the agricultural sector and biochar soil treatment is one reported option. Biochar's capacity to increase soil pH and to foster activity of specialized N2O...
Article
Full-text available
Aims Belowground legume nitrogen (N) composed of roots and rhizodeposition is an important N input to soils, but published data of belowground N vary broadly, probably due to extrapolation from short-term experiments and dissimilar growing conditions. We quantified belowground N inputs of red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) during two consecutive ye...
Article
Full-text available
Maintaining sufficient soil phosphorus (P) levels for non-limiting crop growth is challenging in organic systems since off-farm inputs of P are restricted. This study assessed the status of P on organic farms in Europe using soil test results for extractable P. Data was obtained from published literature, unpublished theses, and various national an...
Article
Full-text available
Background and aims The current paradigm for phosphorus (P) fertilizers applied to calcareous soil is that almost entirely water soluble P fertilizers are efficient and sparingly soluble P fertilizers are not efficient P sources for crops. We hypothesize that this paradigm does not apply to recycled P fertilizers and that other P pools can explain...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change models predict reduced summer precipitations for most European countries, including more frequent and extreme summer droughts. Rainout-shelters which intercept part of the natural precipitation provide an effective tool to investigate effects of different precipitation levels on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. In this study,...
Article
Full-text available
Sampling and analysis or visual examination of soil to assess its status and use potential is widely practiced from plot to national scales. However, the choice of relevant soil attributes and interpretation of measurements are not straightforward, because of the complexity and site-specificity of soils, legacy effects of previous land use, and tra...
Article
Organic farming enhances top soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks in croplands compared with conventional farming, which can contribute to sequester C. As farming system differences in the amount of C inputs to soil (e.g. fertilisation and crop residues) are not enough to explain such increase, shifts in crop residue traits important for soil C losses...
Article
Full-text available
The application of microbial inoculants (biofertilizers) is a promising technology for future sustainable farming systems in view of rapidly decreasing phosphorus stocks and the need to more efficiently use available nitrogen (N). Various microbial taxa are currently used as biofertilizers, based on their capacity to access nutrients from fertilize...
Data
Prisma flow diagram of the literature search.
Data
Funnel plots of the change in yield of (A) tropical climate (B) dry climate (C) continental climate (D) oceanic climate. Mean difference of yield on the horizontal axis is plotted against their corresponding standard errors (SE) on the vertical axis.
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we present effects of four paired agricultural management practices (organic matter (OM) addition versus no organic matter input, no-tillage (NT) versus conventional tillage, crop rotation versus monoculture, and organic agriculture versus conventional agriculture) on five key soil quality indicators, i.e., soil organic matter (SOM) c...
Poster
Full-text available
Date palm is an important crop in Morocco, Tunisia and many other drylands with a high agricultural, economic and cultural value. Harsh environmental conditions of those areas, further accelerated by climate change and the spread of root diseases, threaten date palm cultivation. To overcome growth limitations, high inputs of mineral fertilizers, pe...
Article
Full-text available
Naranjilla (Solanum quitoense) is a perennial shrub plant mainly cultivated in Ecuador, Colombia, and Central America where it represents an important cash crop. Current cultivation practices not only cause deforestation and large-scale soil degradation but also make plants highly susceptible to pests and diseases. The use of arbuscular mycorrhizal...
Data
Statistical data analysis files for fungal community profiling in R.