Improving crop yield and nutrient use efficiency via biofertilisation: a global meta-analysis

Improving crop yield and nutrient use efficiency via biofertilisation: a global meta-analysis

The application of microbial inoculants (biofertilisers) is a promising technology for future sustainable farming systems in view of rapidly decreasing phosphorus stocks and the need to more efficiently use available nitrogen (N). Various microbial taxa are currently used as biofertilisers, based on their capacity to access nutrients from fertilisers and soil stocks, to fix atmospheric nitrogen, to improve water uptake or to act as biocontrol agents. Despite the existence of a considerable knowledge on effects of specific taxa of biofertilisers, a comprehensive quantitative assessment of the performance of biofertilisers with different traits such as phosphorus solubilisation and N fixation applied to various crops at a global scale is missing. We conducted a meta-analysis to quantify benefits of biofertilisers in terms of yield increase, nitrogen and phosphorus use efficiency, based on 171 peer reviewed publications that met eligibility criteria. Major findings are: (i) the superiority of biofertiliser performance in dry climates over other climatic regions (yield response: dry climate +20.0 ± 1.7%, tropical climate +14.9 ± 1.2%, oceanic climate +10.0 ± 3.7%, continental climate +8.5 ± 2.4%); (ii) meta-regression analyses revealed that yield response due to biofertiliser application was generally small at low soil P levels; efficacy increased along higher soil P levels in the order arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), P solubilisers, and N fixers; (iii) meta-regressions showed that the success of inoculation with AMF was greater at low organic matter content and at neutral pH. Our comprehensive analysis provides a basis and guidance for proper choice and application of biofertilisers.

Region: Not specific
Date published: 2017
Published by: Frontiers in Plant Science
Type of resource: Journal article
Resource topic: Biofertilisation

Project/Programme: Not specific
Pest/Disease: Not specific
Pages: 13
File type: External link (8,130 KB)

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