Dernière mise à jour le : 20 décembre 2013

The impact of agricultural practices on soil biota: a regional study


A gradient of agricultural intensification (from permanent meadows to permanent crops, with rotation crops and meadows as intermediary steps) was studied in the course of the RMQS-Biodiv program, covering a regular grid of 109 sites spread over the whole area of French Brittany. Soil biota (earthworms, other macrofauna, microarthropods, nematodes, microorganisms) were sampled according to a standardized procedure, together with visual assessment of a Humus Index. We hypothesized that soil animal and microbial communities were increasingly disturbed along this gradient, resulting in decreasing species richness and decreasing abundance of most sensitive species groups. We also hypothesized that the application of organic matter could compensate for the negative effects of agricultural intensity by increasing the abundance of fauna relying directly on soil organic matter for their food requirements, i.e. saprophagous invertebrates. We show that studied animal and microbial groups, with the exception of epigeic springtails, are negatively affected by the intensity of agriculture, meadows and crops in rotation exhibiting features similar to their permanent counterparts. The latter result was interpreted as a rapid adaptation of soil biotic communities to periodic changes in land use provided the agricultural landscape remains stable. The application of pig and chicken slurry, of current practice in the study region, alone or in complement to mineral fertilization, proves to be favorable to saprophagous macrofauna and bacterivorous nematodes. A composite biotic index is proposed to synthesize our results, based on a selection of animals groups which responded the most to agricultural intensification or organic matter application: anecic earthworms, endogeic earthworms, macrofauna other than earthworms (macroarthropods and mollusks), saprophagous macrofauna other than earthworms (macroarthropods and mollusks), epigeic springtails, phytoparasitic nematodes, bacterivorous nematodes and microbial biomass. This composite index allowed scoring land uses and agricultural practices on the base of simple morphological traits of soil animals without identification at species level.


keyboard_arrow_right Titre : The impact of agricultural practices on soil biota: a regional study
keyboard_arrow_right Type de documentation : Rapports
keyboard_arrow_right Auteur(s) personne(s) : Villenave, Cécile , Chaussod, Rémi , Martin-Laurent, Fabrice , Bispo, Antonio , Cluzeau, Daniel , Pernin, Céline , Cortet, Jérôme , Ponge, Jean-François , Peres, Guénola , Guernion, Muriel , Ruiz-Camacho, Nuria
keyboard_arrow_right Date de publication : 20 décembre 2013
keyboard_arrow_right Editeur(s) : Elsevier
keyboard_arrow_right Tags thématiques : agriculture, biologie du sol, organisme du sol
keyboard_arrow_right Mots-clés libres : Nematodes|Microbial biomass|Agricultural intensity|Soil quality index|Earthworms|Macrofauna|Microarthropods|Life Sciences|Agricultural sciences|Soil study
keyboard_arrow_right Langue :
keyboard_arrow_right Collection : Soil Biology and Biochemistry
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