No interactive effects of pesticides and plant diversity on soil microbial biomass and respiration

Nico Eisenhauer, Matthias Klier, Stephan Partsch, Alexander C.W. Sabais, Christoph Scherber, Wolfgang W. Weisser, Stefan Scheu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Non-target effects of pesticides are widespread and potentially modify essential ecosystem processes. Since microorganisms are major soil decomposers driving key processes such as organic matter decomposition, nutrient cycling and, thereby, plant productivity, effects of pesticides on soil microorganisms need to be considered. In the context of the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning debate, the question arises if pesticide effects are modulated by the diversity of the plant community. We applied pesticides (dimethoate, chlorpyrifos and fosthiazate) to plots of the Jena Experiment field site differing in plant diversity, and measured basal respiration, biomass and specific respiration of soil microorganisms. Pesticide applications either increased (chlorpyrifos and fosthiazate) or decreased (dimethoate) soil microbial parameters, but the effects neither varied with plant species nor with plant functional group richness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-36
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Soil Ecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Abiotic-biotic interactions
  • Basal respiration
  • Insecticide
  • Microbial biomass
  • Nematicide
  • The Jena Experiment


Dive into the research topics of 'No interactive effects of pesticides and plant diversity on soil microbial biomass and respiration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this