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Effects of crop residues and reduced tillage on macrofauna abundance

Author: Mutema, M.
Author: Mafongoya, P.L.
Author: Nyagumbo, I.
Author: Chikukura, L.
Year: 2013
ISSN: 1177-4258
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10883/3431
Abstract: Conservation agriculture is promoted to safeguard resilient properties of soils and to reclaim degraded arable lands. This is achieved through creating necessary conditions for fauna recolonisation. A study was carried out at Kadoma and Southeast Lowveld of Zimbabwe to assess the effects of conservation agriculture practices on soil macrofauna diversity in the 2008-2009 agricultural season. A randomized complete block design experiment, where four crop residue levels (0t/ha, 2t/ha, 4t/ha and 6t/ha) were replicated four times on un-tilled plots at five sites, was used. Soil fauna found in collected monoliths were identified and quantified. Analysis of variance showed significance (P<0.001) in site and treatment effects on both macrofauna abundance and diversity. Reduced tillage with residue cover yielded significantly (P<0.05) higher species richness and macrofauna abundance than conventional systems. There was a significant correlation (r2=0.767) between residue amount and species richness. Although there was no apparent consistent relationship between treatment and species richness, diversity and evenness; abundance was in the order 6t/ha>4t/ha>2t/ha>0t/ha>Conventional systems. The major macrofauna groups observed were termites, ants and beetle-larvae. It was concluded that short-term conservation agriculture systems has significantly positive effects on macrofauna species richness and abundance, which are crucial for initiating soil regeneration. The results are discussed in the context of sustainable crop production using conservation agriculture by resource poor farmers.
Language: English
Copyright: CIMMYT manages Intellectual Assets as International Public Goods. The user is free to download, print, store and share this work. In case you want to translate or create any other derivative work and share or distribute such translation/derivative work, please contact CIMMYT-Knowledge-Center@cgiar.org indicating the work you want to use and the kind of use you intend; CIMMYT will contact you with the suitable license for that purpose.
Type: Article
Pages: 16-May
Journal issue: 1
Journal: Journal of Organic Systems
Journal volume: 8
Keywords: Conservation agriculture
Keywords: residue cover
Keywords: fauna recolonisation
Keywords: planting basins
Keywords: Shannon-Wiener diversity and evenness indices
Publisher URI: http://www.organic-systems.org/journal/81/8103.pdf


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  • Sustainable Intensification
    Sustainable intensification agriculture including topics on cropping systems, agronomy, soil, mechanization, precision agriculture, etc.

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