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Does increased herbicide use impact on key soil biological processes?

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Australian grain growers have progressively adopted a number of best management practices in order to minimise soil tillage, which is one of the main causes of soil erosion, soil compaction and soil organic matter loss... Little is known about how the increased application of herbicides affects soil biota and soil functions that sustain crop growth and ecosystem services such as crop residue turnover, water holding capacity, soil carbon storage and nutrient cycling... The project will address current knowledge gaps regarding the impact of herbicides on soil biota in all three growing regions of the Australian grains industry. The project objectives include determining the effects of different herbicides on not only soil biological communities and biodiversity, but also quantifying their effects on soil functions critical to ecosystem health...