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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Tillage and slurry over-fertilization affect oribatid mite communities in a semiarid Mediterranean environment

Published source details

Bosch-Serra T.D., Padró R., Boixadera-Bosch R.R., Orobitg J. & Yagüe M.R. (2014) Tillage and slurry over-fertilization affect oribatid mite communities in a semiarid Mediterranean environment. Applied Soil Ecology, 84, 124-139


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

Soil: Add slurry to the soil Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2002–2012 in a rainfed cereal field in Spain found more organic matter and nutrients in soils with added slurry, compared to soils without it. Organic matter: More organic matter was found in plots with slurry, in one of five comparisons (1.9% vs 1.6%). Nutrients: More nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium was found in plots with added slurry (nitrogen, in one of five comparisons: 0.14% vs 0.12%; phosphorus, in three of five comparisons: 52–78 vs 31 mg/kg; potassium, in two of five comparisons: 408–528 vs 279 mg/kg). Similar pH levels were found in plots with or without added slurry (pH 8.3–8.4). Soil organisms: Similar numbers of oribatid mites were found in plots with or without added slurry (2,404–5,448 vs 4,304 individuals/m2). Methods: Plots (11 x 12.5 m or 7 x 12.5 m) had slurry (pig: 30 or 55 t/ha/year; sow: 25, 55, or 80 t/ha/year) or no fertilizer (12 replicates of each, but three replicates with sow slurry at 25 t/ha/year). Plots had reduced tillage (disc-harrowing, 15 cm depth) or no tillage (with herbicide). Straw was removed from all plots. Soil samples were collected in October 2011, February 2012, and May 2012 from plots without fertilizer and plots with 25 t/ha/year (three cores/plot, 0–5 cm depth). The other plots were sampled in May 2012.

 

Soil: Use no tillage instead of reduced tillage Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2002–2012 in a rainfed cereal field in Spain found more mites in soils with no tillage, compared to reduced tillage. Organic matter: Similar amounts of organic matter were found in plots with no tillage or reduced tillage (data not reported). Nutrients: Similar amounts of nitrogen were found in plots with no tillage or reduced tillage (data not reported). Soil organisms: More oribatid mites were found in plots with no tillage, compared to reduced tillage (5,162 vs 3,121 individuals/m2). Methods: Plots (11 x 12.5 m or 7 x 12.5 m) had reduced tillage (disc-harrowing, 15 cm depth) or no tillage (with herbicide). Straw was removed from all plots. Soil samples were collected in October 2011, February 2012, and May 2012 from plots without fertilizer and plots with 25 t/ha/year (three cores/plot, 0–5 cm depth). The other plots were sampled in May 2012.

 

Soil: Use organic fertilizer instead of inorganic Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2002–2012 in a rainfed cereal field in Spain found more organic matter and nutrients, but fewer mites, in soils with organic fertilizer, compared to inorganic fertilizer. Organic matter: More organic matter was found in plots with organic fertilizer, compared to inorganic fertilizer, in one of 10 comparisons (1.9% vs 1.6%). Nutrients: More nitrogen (in two of 10 comparisons: 0.14% vs 0.10–0.12%), phosphorus (in 8 of 10 comparisons: 35–78 vs 24–40 mg/kg), and potassium (in six of ten comparisons: 268–528 vs 188–294 mg/kg) was found in soils with organic fertilizer, compared to inorganic fertilizer, but similar pH levels were found. Soil organisms: Fewer oribatid mites were found in plots with organic fertilizer, compared to inorganic fertilizer, in one of ten comparisons (2,404 vs 5,440 individuals/m2). Methods: Plots (11 x 12.5 m or 7 x 12.5 m) had no fertilizer, slurry (pig: 30 or 55 t/ha/year; sow: 25, 55, or 80 t/ha/year), or mineral fertilizer (60 or 120 kg N/ha) (12 replicates of each, but three replicates with sow slurry at 25 t/ha/year). Plots had reduced tillage (disc-harrowing, 15 cm depth) or no tillage (with herbicide). Straw was removed from all plots. Soil samples were collected in October 2011, February 2012, and May 2012 from plots without fertilizer and plots with 25 t/ha/year (three cores/plot, 0–5 cm depth). The other plots were sampled in May 2012.