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Direct and indirect effects of Basta®, a glufosinate-based herbicide, on banana plantation soil microbial diversity and function

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Pattison, A. B., McBeath, A. V., Masters, B. and Dennis, P. G. (2024) Direct and indirect effects of Basta®, a glufosinate-based herbicide, on banana plantation soil microbial diversity and function. Applied Soil Ecology, 195 . p. 105225. ISSN 0929-1393

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apsoil.2023.105225

Publisher URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0929139323004237


Herbicide applications have doubled over the past 30 years to control weeds, but their use may influence soil microbial communities, which mediate important ecosystem services. Here, we characterised the direct effects of a single application of Basta® (glufosinate), at 1× and 2× the recommended rate (5 and 10 kg product ha−1), as well as the indirect effects of vegetation loss on the diversity and function of soil microbial communities within a banana plantation. A 10-month pre-experimental period using Basta® to remove additional vegetation from half of the experimental area created conditions for assessing the indirect herbicide effects. Direct assessments on soil microbial communities began when the Basta® herbicide treatments were applied to the areas with and without vegetation and continued over multiple time-points, for 56 days. Herbicide treatment had no significant direct impacts on basal, and substrate induced respiration rates, or the potential activities of microbial enzymes as inferred from fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis (FDA) and β-glucosidase assays. Similarly, phylogenetic marker gene sequencing indicated that Basta® application did not significantly influence the diversity of soil bacterial or fungal communities. Indirectly, Basta® had a greater influence on the soil microbial activity and functions by removing understory vegetation cover around banana plants. This suggested that continual use of herbicides to reduce soil vegetation cover under bananas had a greater impact on soil microbial communities than a single application of the herbicide. Furthermore, the presence or absence of vegetation cover, significantly altered the abundance of Fusarium oxysporum, plus an additional eight bacterial and ten fungal taxa. Our results indicated that a single application of glufosinate as Basta® at the recommended or double the recommended rate, did not adversely affect soil microbial communities or their activities in banana plantations directly. However, application of herbicides, such as Basta® in crops like banana, indirectly alters soil microbial communities and their activities through loss of vegetation cover and should only be used as a component of an integrated weed management system.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Keywords:Integrated weed management Microbiome Soil health Vegetation cover
Subjects:Science > Invasive Species > Plants > Effect of herbicides
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Soils. Soil science
Plant culture > Fruit and fruit culture > Culture of individual fruits or types of fruit > Bananas
Plant pests and diseases
Plant pests and diseases > Plant pathology
Plant pests and diseases > Pest control and treatment of diseases. Plant protection > Soil disinfection
Live Archive:11 Dec 2023 02:22
Last Modified:11 Dec 2023 02:22

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