Today’s intensified agricultural production is characterized by crop and pasture monocultures, which have a significant impact on soil microbial diversity and abundance. This chapter provides a case study in which the relative importance of brome grass (Bromus inermis) monoculture pasture versus intra-site microhabitat diversity is explored using fatty acid methyl ester (FAMEs) assay to delineate the presence and abundance of several classes of soil microbes instrumental in soil nutrient cycling, plant health, plant organic matter decomposition, and soil stabilization. The chapter explores spatio-temporal variability of bacteria, actinomycetes, saprophytes, mycorrhizae, and micro-eukaryotes over two durations (summer and fall) collected using two distinct sampling methods. One of the methods is commonly employed, namely, transect-based, while the other is informed by soil electroconductivity measurements conducted over the entire pasture site from a previous survey.
Part of the book: Agrometeorology