A lysimeter experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of past and current management practices on soil microbial biomass, activity and community composition. Intact monolith lysimeters were taken from sites of the same soil type that had been under long-term organic and conventional crop management. They were subjected to the same crop rotation and managed according to best organic and conventional practices. Mineral N loss was determined in leachates and soil samples taken before the experiment and after 30 months were analysed for biological soil properties, including microbial diversity. Results indicated that leaching losses were similar for all treatments and that crop was the main influence on microbial biomass composition and size, while microbial activity was determined by management history
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