Functional aspects of soil animal diversity in agricultural grasslands
Published source details
Bardgett R.D. & Cook R. (1998) Functional aspects of soil animal diversity in agricultural grasslands. Applied Soil Ecology, 10, 263-276
Published source details Bardgett R.D. & Cook R. (1998) Functional aspects of soil animal diversity in agricultural grasslands. Applied Soil Ecology, 10, 263-276
This study is summarised as evidence for the following.
Maintain upland heath/moorlandAction Link
Reduce chemical inputs in grassland managementAction Link
Maintain upland heath/moorland
A 1998 review of how soil animals change according to management of agricultural grasslands (Bardgett & Cook 1998) found one UK study that assessed the effects of lower grazing pressure on soil animals in upland grasslands in Cumbria (Bardgett et al. 1993). It found numbers of springtails (Collembola) and mites (Acari) were lower with less sheep grazing. For example, there were over 60,000 springtails/m2 on heavily grazed land, compared to around 40,000/m2 on moderately or lightly grazed grassland, and 20-30,000/m2 on ungrazed land. Removing sheep for two years rapidly reduced numbers of springtails.
Reduce chemical inputs in grassland management
A 1998 review of how soil animals, especially nematodes (Nematoda) and microarthropods, change according to management of agricultural grasslands (Bardgett & Cook 1998) found two studies showing a higher density of nematodes or microarthropods in organically managed or low input grasslands, compared to intensively managed grasslands with conventional chemical inputs (Siepel 1996, Yeates et al. 1997). One also found higher numbers of microarthropod species on low input grasslands (Siepel 1996). This is in contrast to four studies that found that adding mineral fertilizer can increase numbers of nematodes in the short term (Edwards & Lofty 1969, Coulson & Butterfield 1978, King & Hutchinson 1980, Bardgett et al. 1993), although one study found reduced abundance and diversity of microarthropods after nitrogen fertilizer was added to grassland (Siepel & van de Bund 1988). The authors argue that soil communities are functionally different under low input systems.
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