Improving above and below-ground arthropod biodiversity in maize cultivation systems

Norris, S.L., Blackshaw, R.P., Dunn, R.M., Critchley, N.R., Smith, K.E., Williams, J.R., Randall, N.P. and Murray, P.J. (2016) Improving above and below-ground arthropod biodiversity in maize cultivation systems. Applied Soil Ecology, 108. pp. 25-46.

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Maize (Zea mays L.) is a multi-use crop, but its cultivation has a number of associated environmental and ecological impacts. Few investigations have been undertaken to understand the impact of different maize cultivation techniques on above- and below-ground arthropod communities. This study has shown that strip tillage cultivation of maize improves arthropod community structure and biodiversity though a reduction in the area disturbed by cultivation and increased non-crop. Furthermore, increasing the richness of non-crop plants within strip tillage systems further increased the numbers of above- and below-ground taxa. Although there was a significant reductions in maize yield under strip tillage cultivation systems compared to the more conventional cultivation techniques making adoption unlikely, our results do show with simple changes in maize cultivation practice there can be benefits to biodiversity. The research challenge is now not to be able to enhance biodiversity, but to develop integrated crop management practices that sustain yields.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Maize, Above-ground, Below-ground, Diversity, Richness, Density
Divisions: Crop and Environment Sciences (to 31.07.20)
Depositing User: Ms Kath Osborn
Date Deposited: 12 May 2017 14:01
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2018 14:30

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