Minor changes in collembolan communities under different organic crop rotations and tillage regimes

Moos, Jan Hendrik GND; Schrader, Stefan GND; Paulsen, Hans Marten GND

An aim of organic farming is to reduce negative impacts of agricultural management practices on physical, chemical, and biological soil properties. A growing number of organic farmers is trying out methods of reduced tillage to save costs, protect humus and to foster natural processes in the soil. Fur­thermore, techniques like increasing crop rotation diversity and reduced tillage are discussed under the topics of agro­ecology or ecological intensification also for implementation in non­organic farming systems.The question arises as to whether these practices are positively impacting on soil ecosystems and whichindica­tors can be used to describe these impacts. Collembolans are a widely distributed group of the soil mesofauna. They are mainly characterised as secondary decomposers feeding on fungi and other microorganisms. We investigated the influ­ence of different long­term organic crop rotations (mixed farming with animal husbandry versus stockless arable) and the short term effects of two years of different tillage systems (conventional tillage versus reduced tillage) on the abun­dance, species richness, species composition, and selected species traits (life forms) of collembolan communities. Although not significant, some trends are evident. Spe­cies composition of collembolan communities responded to expected alterations in soil moisture mediated by different crop sequences and inter­annual effects rather thanto dif­ferent management practices. The proportion of euedaphic collembolan individuals tended to increase in soil environ­ments that offered more stable habitat conditions from increased availability of organic matter.



Citation style:

Moos, Jan / Schrader, Stefan / Paulsen, Hans: Minor changes in collembolan communities under different organic crop rotations and tillage regimes. 2020.


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