compares for the first time the long-term effects of conservation
agriculture, organic farming, and conventional agriculture on major soil
organisms such as microbes, nematofauna, and macrofauna. The authors also
analyzed functional groups. Soils were sampled at a 14-year-old
experimental site near Versailles, France. The microbial
community was analyzed using molecular biology techniques. Results show that both conservation and organic systems hugely increased the
abundance and biomass of almost all soil organisms; macrofauna increased from 100 to 2,500 %,
nematodes from 100 to 700 %, and microorganisms from 30 to 70 %.
Conservation agriculture showed a higher overall improvement than
organic farming. Overall, the study shows that long-term, no-tillage, and
cover crops are better for soil biota than periodic legume green
manures, pesticides, and mineral fertilizers.