New Jackson lab manuscript on plant-associated soil microbes

The Randy Jackson lab has released a new manuscript titled “Bioenergy cropping systems that incorporate native grasses stimulate growth of plant-associated soil microbes in the absence of nitrogen fertilization”.

Abstract:

The choice of crops and their management can strongly influence soil microbial communities and their processes. We used lipid biomarker profiling to characterize how soil microbial composition of five potential bioenergy cropping systems diverged from a common baseline five years after they were established. The cropping systems we studied included an annual system (continuous no-till corn) and four perennial crops (switchgrass, miscanthus, hybrid poplar, and restored prairie). Partial- and no-stover removal were compared for the corn system, while N-additions were compared to unfertilized plots for the perennial cropping systems. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and Gram-negative biomass was higher in unfertilized perennial grass systems, especially in switchgrass and prairie. Gram-positive bacterial biomass decreased in all systems relative to baseline values in surface soils (0–10 cm), but not subsurface soils (10–25 cm). Overall microbial composition was similar between the two soil depths. Our findings demonstrate the capacity of unfertilized perennial cropping systems to recreate microbial composition found in undisturbed soil environments and indicate how strongly agroecosystem management decisions such as N addition and plant community composition can influence soil microbial assemblages.

You can read the manuscript here (PDF).

4th Annual Agroecology Barn Dance!

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barn-dance-2016

It’s that time of year again to show off your dancing skills and enjoy some great company! The 4th Annual Agroecology Barn Dance is here! This years dance will have live music, provided by the band Thirsty Roots with caller Steve Pike. Delicious vegetable stew, bread, and apple cider are included with your ticket price.

Date: October 22nd, 2016
Time: 7:30pm-10:30pm (doors open at 6:30)
Location: The Cates Family Farm – 5992 County Road T, Spring Green, WI 53588

ONLINE TICKETS (available until Oct. 21st @ 11:30pm)
$15 Students | $20 General |
$7 Kids 8 and Up | Kids under 8 Free
http://aebarndance2016.brownpapertickets.com/
TICKETS PURCHASED AT DOOR
$20 Students | $25 General catesfarm2
$10 Kids 8 and Up | Kids under 8 Free

Because this is Wisconsin, plenty of beer will be available by donation and we will be having a meat raffle. There will also be assorted desserts available by donation.

Camping is available on the farm for free for those who would like to spend the night and enjoy the Driftless scenery a bit longer. There will be no dogs allowed this year, as the cattle will be in the pasture.

Come join us and enjoy the beautiful Cates Family Farm! All proceeds benefit research by the students of UW-Madison’s Agroecology Program. Hope to see you there!

Please contact Sam Asper (asper@wisc.edu) with any questions.

You can also check out the Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/353370345008960/

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