The effect of agricultural management on Collembola communities in agroecosystems

Sconce, F. (2017) The effect of agricultural management on Collembola communities in agroecosystems. Masters thesis, Harper Adams University.

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Abstract

Collembola are soil dwelling arthropods that are beneficial for soil health, contributing to rates of decomposition and nutrient cycling. They exhibit different life forms living within different soil niches, and make up an important component of soil mesofauna and can indicate overall soil biodiversity community.Agroecosystems are environments managed for production of resources for human benefit, with interventions such as agrochemical application and ploughing (tillage) of soil, using specialised agricultural vehicles. Management intensity can vary with the frequency of interventions and effects of each intervention onsoil.The effect of agricultural management on Collembola and the wider mesofauna community was investigated in three ways.Firstly with surveys of Collembola and mesofauna in fields of different management intensity, secondly by sampling Collembola and mesofauna in an experiment on the effects different tillage and traffic regimes and thirdly by sampling Collembola in an experiment on the effects of tillage and no tillsystems.Management intensity did not affect Collembola abundance and species richness or mesofauna abundance and taxonomic order richness overall. Sampling date and soil moisture had a significant effect the abundance and species richness of the soil mesofauna. Collembola of different life forms showed different responses related to their life history traits.Different traffic and tillage regime combinations did not affect Collembola abundance and species richness or mesofauna abundance and taxonomic order richness overall.Sampling date did significantly affect Collembola abundance and diversity and Collembola of different life forms showed different responses.Tillage system had a significant effect on Collembola abundance and species richness and mesofauna abundance and taxonomic order richness one month after tillage treatment,but numbers recovered to pre-treatment levels after six months. Collembola of different life forms showed different responses to tillage system and sampling date.Results are discussed in relation to wider research and future focus within soil biodiversity.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Divisions: Crop and Environment Sciences
Depositing User: Ms Kath Osborn
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2019 14:33
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2019 10:04
URI: http://hau.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/17473

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