Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Assessing soil quality under intensive cultivation and tree orchards in Southern Italy

Published source details

Bonanomi G., D'Ascoli R., Antignani V., Capodilupo M., Cozzolino L., Marzaioli R., Puopolo G., Rutigliano F.A., Scelza R., Scotti R., Rao M.A. & Zoina A. (2011) Assessing soil quality under intensive cultivation and tree orchards in Southern Italy. Applied Soil Ecology, 47, 184-194


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Reduce fertilizer, pesticide or herbicide use generally Soil Fertility

A replicated site comparison study, in spring 2008 across loam, sandy-loam and coarse sandy soils in Salerno district, Italy (Bonanomi et al. 2011) found that the functional diversity of soil microorganisms was 18% lower functional microbial diversity and 14% lower bacterial species richness, as well as 24% lower organic carbon, compared to the low-input systems. Broad differences in soil microbial community properties were found between farms classified as high-input, intensive, and low-input systems. The high-input systems were described as intensive cultivation systems under plastic cover, while low-input systems were described as orchards. Soil samples were taken from three plastic tunnels in each high-input system and from one area of orchard in each low-input system, then analysed for biochemical and biological properties in the laboratory.