Study

Separating the effects of defoliation and dairy cow treading pressure on the abundance and diversity of soil invertebrates in pastures

  • Published source details Schon N.L., Mackay A.D., Yeates G.W. & Minor M.A. (2010) Separating the effects of defoliation and dairy cow treading pressure on the abundance and diversity of soil invertebrates in pastures. Applied Soil Ecology, 46, 209-221

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use grazing instead of cutting for pasture or grassland management

Action Link
Natural Pest Control
  1. Use grazing instead of cutting for pasture or grassland management

    A replicated study in 2002-2007 in Taranaki, New Zealand (Schon et al. 2010) found similar numbers of predatory and omnivorous (plant and animal-eating) nematodes (Nematoda) in grazed (approximately 6,000-30,000 individuals/m²) and cut (10,000-50,000 individuals) pasture. Numbers of small predatory invertebrates, including mites (Acari), beetles (Coleoptera), spiders (Araneae) and other groups, were also similar in grazed vs. cut plots (4,000-20,000 vs. 7,000-24,000 individuals/m²). Numbers of plant-feeding or plant-parasitic nematodes were similar between grazed vs. cut plots, for example 7,700-53,900 vs. 9,000-23,400 Pratylenchus spp. individuals/m² and 0-99,200 vs. 4,700-13,000 Meloidogyne spp. juveniles/m² in up to 10 cm-deep soil samples. Numbers of plant-eating small invertebrates, including mites, springtails (Collembola), beetle larvae, moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera), were also similar in grazed vs. cut plots (600-5,500 vs.600-7,000 individuals/m²). Grazed plots were stocked at 3, 4 or 5 cows/ha. Pasture was mown and vegetation was removed in cut plots. Each treatment was applied to four 0.1 ha plots. Measurements were taken in 2007 after five years of treatment. Invertebrates were sampled using soil cores (up to 15.5 cm deep) in autumn and winter. Natural enemies and pests were not differentiated in many invertebrate groups.

Output references

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