Biome Makers Blog

Agroscope joins fields4ever will study impact of the land use and soil pesticide residues


A new project in fields4ever

A new partner has joined fields4ever, AGROSCOPE, with the project " Impact of the land use and soil pesticide residues on the soil and root microbiome " will take action to recover our soil health thank you to fields4ever initiative.

Project explanation

Samples required and project description

The project has been granted with 60 samples to use in vineyards. 30 will be used in conventional fields and 30 in organic fields.

The project will establish farming networks in Switzerland, in vineyards, and will the impact of land use and soil pesticide residues on the soil and plant root microbiome. They will select for each network 10-30 fields under organic management and 10 – 30 fields under conventional management. Soil and plant roots will be selected. DNA will be isolated and fungal and bacterial communities will be assessed. Subsequently, it will be tested which factors (e.g. land use, soil characteristics, fertilization, pesticide residues) influence microbial community traits (richness, microbial network characteristics).


Agroescope is the Swiss center of excellence for agricultural research and is affiliated with the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG). Agroscope makes an important contribution to sustainable agriculture and food sector as well as to an intact environment, thereby contributing to an improved quality of life. Agroscope researches along the entire value chain of agriculture and the food sector. Its goals are a competitive and multifunctional agricultural sector, high-quality food for a healthy diet, and an intact environment. In pursuing these aims, the research institute gears itself to the needs of its service recipients.

Head of the project​

Marcel van der Heijden

University of Zurich (Switzerland) and he is an honorary professor in Mycorrhizal Ecology at Utrecht University (the Netherlands). He obtained his Ph.D. in 1999 at the Botanical Institute of Basel University, Switzerland, studying the impact plant root symbiont (arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi) diversity on plant diversity, nutrient cycling, and ecosystem functioning.