Research Explores Rebuilding High-Tunnel Soil Microbiome

Microbial ecologists at Penn State University are studying how high salt and nitrogen concentrations in high-tunnel soils make it challenging to rebuild a healthy soil microbiome following a soil-clearing event. High-tunnel growers who experience mounting disease pressure from growing the same crops season after season sometimes utilize anaerobic soil disinfestation and soil solarization to reduce pathogens. Howeover, these methods wipe out the entire soil microbial community, and this research shows that soils high in salt and nitrogen experience delays in soil-biome reestablishment.