Assessing Soil Health and Fertility through Microbial Analysis and Nutrient Profiling Implications for Sustainable Agriculture

Authors

  • Maham Akhtar Department of Economics, Government College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan Author https://orcid.org/0009-0009-3413-1010
  • Misbah Gulab Institute of Food and Nutrition Sciences, PMAS Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan Author
  • Madiha Ghazanfar Department of Diet and Nutritional Sciences, Ibadat International University, Islamabad Author https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4669-1279

Keywords:

soil health, microbial analysis, nutrient profiling, sustainable agriculture, crop productivity, soil microbial communities, nutrient dynamics

Abstract

Aims: To study the relationship between soil microbial communities, soil health, and crop productivity.

Methodology: The research employed a mixed-methods approach to investigate the intricate connections among soil microbial communities, nutrient dynamics, and soil health in agricultural settings. Quantitative data collection involved stratified soil sampling, microbial and nutrient analysis, and plant nutrient assessments using established methods. Qualitative data were gathered through farmer interviews and focus group discussions with experts, providing insights into soil management practices and perceptions. Statistical analyses, including descriptive statistics, Chi-square tests, t-tests, and Pearson correlation tests, were applied to quantify relationships in quantitative data. Thematic analysis was used to identify patterns in qualitative data.

Results: The mean microbial biomass in soil samples was 25.4 mg/g, ranging from 20.1 to 30.7 mg/g. Essential nutrient values, including nitrogen (Group 1: 0.33%, Group 2: 0.36%), phosphorus (Group 1: 0.20%, Group 2: 0.24%), potassium, calcium, and magnesium, were reported. Pearson Correlation coefficients showed strong positive relationships between microbial biomass and key soil nutrients, as well as between these nutrients and plant uptake. Chi-square tests indicated significant associations between land use types and studied parameters. Independent t-tests revealed a significant difference in soil microbial biomass between two groups. Pearson Correlation tests demonstrated a significant relationship between microbial biomass and nutrient uptake. Notably, a unique percentage format was observed in some correlation coefficients, emphasizing associations between soil pH, organic matter content, and crop yield.

Conclusion: In conclusion, our study underscores the vital role of microbial communities in sustaining soil fertility, with strong correlations between microbial biomass, essential soil nutrients, and plant uptake. Significant associations highlight the importance of tailored agricultural practices, while observed relationships between soil pH, organic matter, and crop yield suggest avenues for optimizing productivity. Looking forward, future research should focus on harnessing microbial diversity for sustainable agriculture and developing innovative strategies to enhance soil health and nutrient cycling.

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Published

07/01/2023

How to Cite

1.
Akhtar M, Gulab M, Ghazanfar M. Assessing Soil Health and Fertility through Microbial Analysis and Nutrient Profiling Implications for Sustainable Agriculture. IRABCS [Internet]. 2023 Jul. 1 [cited 2024 Jun. 16];1(1):29-42. Available from: https://irabcs.com/ojs/article/view/14

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