Steering microbiomes by organic amendments towards climate-smart agricultural soils

K. Brenzinger (Corresponding author), Ohana Y.A. Costa, Adrian Ho, Guusje Koorneef, Bjorn J.M. Robroek, Douwe Molenaar, Gerard Korthals, Paul Bodelier

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
121 Downloads (Pure)


We steered the soil microbiome via applications of organic residues (mix of cover crop residues, sewage sludge + compost, and digestate + compost) to enhance multiple ecosystem services in line with climate-smart agriculture. Our result highlights the potential to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions from agricultural soils by the application of specific organic amendments (especially digestate + compost). Unexpectedly, also the addition of mineral fertilizer in our mesocosms led to similar combined GHG emissions than one of the specific organic amendments. However, the application of organic amendments has the potential to increase soil C, which is not the case when using mineral fertilizer. While GHG emissions from cover crop residues were significantly higher compared to mineral fertilizer and the other organic amendments, crop growth was promoted. Furthermore, all organic amendments induced a shift in the diversity and abundances of key microbial groups. We show that organic amendments have the potential to not only lower GHG emissions by modifying the microbial community abundance and composition, but also favour crop growth-promoting microorganisms. This modulation of the microbial community by organic amendments bears the potential to turn soils into more climate-smart soils in comparison to the more conventional use of mineral fertilizers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1053–1074
Number of pages22
JournalBiology and Fertility of Soils
Issue number8
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • national
  • Plan_S-Compliant_OA
  • Agricultural soils
  • Plant growth
  • Microbial community abundance and compositions
  • Flux measurements
  • Greenhouse gases
  • Organic amendment


Dive into the research topics of 'Steering microbiomes by organic amendments towards climate-smart agricultural soils'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this