Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effects of agricultural management on nematode-mite assemblages: soil food web indices as predictors of mite community composition

Published source details

Sanchez-Moreno S., Nicola N.L., Ferris H. & Zalom F.G. (2009) Effects of agricultural management on nematode-mite assemblages: soil food web indices as predictors of mite community composition. Applied Soil Ecology, 41, 107-117


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Pest regulation: Use no tillage instead of reduced tillage Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, controlled study in 1993–2006 in an irrigated tomato-maize field in Davis, California, USA, found similar numbers of natural enemies in soils with no tillage or reduced tillage. Natural enemy numbers: Similar numbers of predatory mites were found in soils with no tillage or reduced tillage (14 vs 12 individuals/100 g fresh soil). Methods: No tillage or reduced tillage was used on three plots each (reduced: 0.4 ha plots; no tillage: 3 m2 microplots). Plots with reduced tillage were tilled about two times/year (depth not reported). Plots with no tillage were hand weeded. All plots were irrigated. Half of the plots were fertilized, and compost was added to the other half. Soil samples were collected eight times in March 2005–November 2006 (three samples/plot). Mites were sampled with soil cores (5 cm diameter, 10 cm depth).

 

Pest regulation: Use no tillage in arable fields Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, controlled study in 1993–2006 in an irrigated tomato-corn field in Davis, California, USA, found similar numbers of natural enemies in soils with no tillage or conventional tillage. Natural enemy numbers: Similar numbers of predatory mites were found in soils with no tillage or conventional tillage (14 vs 7 individuals/100 g fresh soil). Methods: No tillage or conventional tillage was used on three plots each (conventional: 0.4 ha plots; no tillage: 3 m2 microplots). Plots with conventional tillage were tilled about five times/year (depth not reported). Plots with no tillage were hand weeded. All plots were irrigated. Half of the plots were fertilized, and compost was added to the other half. Soil samples were collected eight times in March 2005–November 2006 (three samples/plot). Mites were sampled with soil cores (5 cm diameter, 10 cm depth).

 

Pest regulation: Use reduced tillage in arable fields Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, controlled study in 1993–2006 in an irrigated tomato-corn field in Davis, California, USA, found similar numbers of natural enemies in soils with reduced tillage or conventional tillage. Natural enemy numbers: Similar numbers of predatory mites were found in soils with reduced tillage or conventional tillage (8–12 vs 5–7 individuals/100 g fresh soil). Methods: Conventional tillage or reduced tillage was used on six plots each (0.4 ha plots). Plots were tilled about five times/year (conventional) or two times/year (reduced; depth not reported). All plots were irrigated. Half of the plots were fertilized, and compost was added to the other half. Soil samples were collected eight times in March 2005–November 2006 (three samples/plot). Mites were sampled with soil cores (5 cm diameter, 10 cm depth).

 

Soil: Use no tillage instead of reduced tillage Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, controlled study in 1993–2006 in an irrigated tomato-corn field in Davis, California, USA, found similar numbers of soil organisms, but different communities of soil organisms, in soils with no tillage, compared to reduced tillage. Soil organisms: Similar numbers of mites and nematodes were found in soils with no tillage or reduced tillage (822 vs 888 individuals/100 g fresh soil). However, the composition of nematode and mite communities differed between soils with no tillage or reduced tillage (reported as distance in multivariate space). Methods: No tillage or reduced tillage was used on three plots each (reduced: 0.4 ha plots; no tillage: 3 m2 microplots). Plots with reduced tillage were tilled about two times/year (depth not reported). Plots with no tillage were hand weeded. All plots were irrigated. Half of the plots were fertilized, and compost was added to the other half. Soil samples were collected eight times in March 2005–November 2006 (three samples/plot). Mites were sampled with soil cores (5 cm diameter, 10 cm depth). Nematodes were sampled in soil cubes (20 x 20 x 20 cm).

 

Soil: Use no tillage in arable fields Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, controlled study in 1993–2006 in an irrigated tomato-corn field in Davis, California, USA, found similar numbers of soil organisms, but different communities of soil organisms, in soils with no tillage, compared to conventional tillage. Soil organisms: Similar numbers of mites and nematodes were found in soils with no tillage or conventional tillage (822 vs 797 individuals/100 g fresh soil). However, the composition of nematode and mite communities differed between soils with no tillage or conventional tillage (reported as distance in multivariate space). Methods: No tillage or conventional tillage was used on three plots each (conventional tillage: 0.4 ha plots; no tillage: 3 m2 microplots). Plots with conventional tillage were tilled about five times/year (depth not reported). Plots with no tillage were hand weeded. All plots were irrigated. Half of the plots were fertilized, and compost was added to the other half. Soil samples were collected eight times in March 2005–November 2006 (three samples/plot). Mites were sampled with soil cores (5 cm diameter, 10 cm depth). Nematodes were sampled in soil cubes (20 x 20 x 20 cm).

 

Convert to organic farming Natural Pest Control

A replicated, controlled study in 2005-2006 in Davis, California, USA (Sanchez-Moreno et al. 2009) found similar numbers of predatory mites (Prostigmata and Mesostigmata) in organically farmed (7 mites/100 g soil) and conventionally farmed (5 mites) plots receiving standard tillage. Numbers of predatory mites were also similar between organic (12 mites/100 g soil) and conventional (8 mites) plots receiving reduced tillage. Organic plots with reduced or no tillage had more predatory mites (12-14 mites/100 g soil) than conventional plots with standard tillage (5 mites). Tomato Solanum lycopersicum and maize Zea mays were grown (in 2005 and 2006, respectively) in 0.4 ha plots. Organic management included compost fertilizer application and legume cover crops during winter. Conventional management included mineral fertilizer and bare fallow in winter. Subplots of standard and reduced tillage were tested under both management systems, and no-tillage was also tested in organic plots. Each treatment was replicated three times. Three soil samples were taken per plot at eight sampling dates in 2005-2006.

Soil: Use reduced tillage in arable fields Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, controlled study in 1993–2006 in an irrigated tomato-corn field in Davis, California, USA, found similar numbers of soil organisms, but different communities of soil organisms, in plots with reduced tillage, compared to conventional tillage. Soil organisms: Similar numbers of mites and nematodes were found in soils with reduced tillage or conventional tillage (596–888 vs 527–797 individuals/100 g fresh soil). However, the composition of nematode and mite communities differed between soils with reduced tillage or conventional tillage (reported as distance in multivariate space). Methods: Conventional tillage or reduced tillage was used on six plots each (0.4 ha plots). Plots were tilled about five times/year (conventional) or two times/year (reduced; depth not reported). All plots were irrigated. Half of the plots were fertilized, and compost was added to the other half. Soil samples were collected eight times in March 2005–November 2006 (three samples/plot). Mites were sampled with soil cores (5 cm diameter, 10 cm depth). Nematodes were sampled in soil cubes (20 x 20 x 20 cm).