Soil fertility management: Impacts on soil macrofauna, soil aggregation and soil organic matter allocation.

F.O. Ayuke, L. Brussaard, B. Vanlauwe, J. Six, D.K. Lelei, C.N. Kibunja, M.M. Pulleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Maintenance of soil organic matter through integrated soil fertility management is important for soil quality and agricultural productivity, and for the persistence of soil faunal diversity and biomass. Little is known about the interactive effects of soil fertility management and soil macrofauna diversity on soil aggregation and SOM dynamics in tropical arable cropping systems. A study was conducted in a long-term trial at Kabete, Central Kenya, to investigate the effects of organic inputs (maize stover or manure) and inorganic fertilizers on soil macrofauna abundance, biomass and taxonomic diversity, water stable aggregation, whole soil and aggregate-associated organic C and N, as well as the relations between these variables. Differently managed arable systems were compared to a long-term green fallow system representing a relatively undisturbed reference. Fallowing, and application of farm yard manure (FYM) in combination with fertilizer, significantly enhanced earthworm diversity and biomass as well as aggregate stability and C and N pools in the top 15 cm of the soil. Earthworm abundance significantly negatively correlated with the percentage of total macroaggregates and microaggregates within macroaggregates, but all earthworm parameters positively correlated with whole soil and aggregate associated C and N, unlike termite parameters. Factor analysis showed that 35.3% of the total sample variation in aggregation and C and N in total soil and aggregate fractions was explained by earthworm parameters, and 25.5% by termite parameters. Multiple regression analysis confirmed this outcome. The negative correlation between earthworm abundance and total macroaggregates and microaggregates within macroaggregate could be linked to the presence of high numbers of Nematogenia lacuum in the arable treatments without organic amendments, an endogeic species that feeds on excrements of other larger epigeic worms and produces small excrements. Under the conditions studied, differences in earthworm abundance, biomass and diversity were more important drivers of management-induced changes in aggregate stability and soil C and N pools than differences in termite populations. Highlights ¿ Application of farm yard manure + fertilizer improved aggregate stability and C and N stabilization in soil. ¿ Application of maize stover did not improve soil aggregation and C and N stabilization. ¿ Farm yard manure + fertilizer application enhanced earthworm diversity and biomass. ¿ Higher earthworm diversity and biomass enhanced aggregate and C and N stabilization. ¿ Earthworms were more important drivers of aggregate and C and N stabilization than termites.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-62
JournalApplied Soil Ecology
Volume48
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Fingerprint

soil aggregation
earthworms
soil fertility
Fertility
soil organic matter
earthworm
Soil
Oligochaeta
soil aggregates
macroaggregate
Isoptera
soil
animal manures
termite
Biomass
aggregate stability
biomass
Manure
manure
stabilization

Keywords

  • fungus-growing termites
  • earthworm activity
  • microaggregate formation
  • nitrogenous fertilizers
  • physical-properties
  • agricultural soils
  • input management
  • feeding termite
  • carbon
  • dynamics

Cite this

Ayuke, F.O. ; Brussaard, L. ; Vanlauwe, B. ; Six, J. ; Lelei, D.K. ; Kibunja, C.N. ; Pulleman, M.M. / Soil fertility management: Impacts on soil macrofauna, soil aggregation and soil organic matter allocation. In: Applied Soil Ecology. 2011 ; Vol. 48, No. 1. pp. 53-62.
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abstract = "Maintenance of soil organic matter through integrated soil fertility management is important for soil quality and agricultural productivity, and for the persistence of soil faunal diversity and biomass. Little is known about the interactive effects of soil fertility management and soil macrofauna diversity on soil aggregation and SOM dynamics in tropical arable cropping systems. A study was conducted in a long-term trial at Kabete, Central Kenya, to investigate the effects of organic inputs (maize stover or manure) and inorganic fertilizers on soil macrofauna abundance, biomass and taxonomic diversity, water stable aggregation, whole soil and aggregate-associated organic C and N, as well as the relations between these variables. Differently managed arable systems were compared to a long-term green fallow system representing a relatively undisturbed reference. Fallowing, and application of farm yard manure (FYM) in combination with fertilizer, significantly enhanced earthworm diversity and biomass as well as aggregate stability and C and N pools in the top 15 cm of the soil. Earthworm abundance significantly negatively correlated with the percentage of total macroaggregates and microaggregates within macroaggregates, but all earthworm parameters positively correlated with whole soil and aggregate associated C and N, unlike termite parameters. Factor analysis showed that 35.3{\%} of the total sample variation in aggregation and C and N in total soil and aggregate fractions was explained by earthworm parameters, and 25.5{\%} by termite parameters. Multiple regression analysis confirmed this outcome. The negative correlation between earthworm abundance and total macroaggregates and microaggregates within macroaggregate could be linked to the presence of high numbers of Nematogenia lacuum in the arable treatments without organic amendments, an endogeic species that feeds on excrements of other larger epigeic worms and produces small excrements. Under the conditions studied, differences in earthworm abundance, biomass and diversity were more important drivers of management-induced changes in aggregate stability and soil C and N pools than differences in termite populations. Highlights ¿ Application of farm yard manure + fertilizer improved aggregate stability and C and N stabilization in soil. ¿ Application of maize stover did not improve soil aggregation and C and N stabilization. ¿ Farm yard manure + fertilizer application enhanced earthworm diversity and biomass. ¿ Higher earthworm diversity and biomass enhanced aggregate and C and N stabilization. ¿ Earthworms were more important drivers of aggregate and C and N stabilization than termites.",
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Soil fertility management: Impacts on soil macrofauna, soil aggregation and soil organic matter allocation. / Ayuke, F.O.; Brussaard, L.; Vanlauwe, B.; Six, J.; Lelei, D.K.; Kibunja, C.N.; Pulleman, M.M.

In: Applied Soil Ecology, Vol. 48, No. 1, 2011, p. 53-62.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Soil fertility management: Impacts on soil macrofauna, soil aggregation and soil organic matter allocation.

AU - Ayuke, F.O.

AU - Brussaard, L.

AU - Vanlauwe, B.

AU - Six, J.

AU - Lelei, D.K.

AU - Kibunja, C.N.

AU - Pulleman, M.M.

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - Maintenance of soil organic matter through integrated soil fertility management is important for soil quality and agricultural productivity, and for the persistence of soil faunal diversity and biomass. Little is known about the interactive effects of soil fertility management and soil macrofauna diversity on soil aggregation and SOM dynamics in tropical arable cropping systems. A study was conducted in a long-term trial at Kabete, Central Kenya, to investigate the effects of organic inputs (maize stover or manure) and inorganic fertilizers on soil macrofauna abundance, biomass and taxonomic diversity, water stable aggregation, whole soil and aggregate-associated organic C and N, as well as the relations between these variables. Differently managed arable systems were compared to a long-term green fallow system representing a relatively undisturbed reference. Fallowing, and application of farm yard manure (FYM) in combination with fertilizer, significantly enhanced earthworm diversity and biomass as well as aggregate stability and C and N pools in the top 15 cm of the soil. Earthworm abundance significantly negatively correlated with the percentage of total macroaggregates and microaggregates within macroaggregates, but all earthworm parameters positively correlated with whole soil and aggregate associated C and N, unlike termite parameters. Factor analysis showed that 35.3% of the total sample variation in aggregation and C and N in total soil and aggregate fractions was explained by earthworm parameters, and 25.5% by termite parameters. Multiple regression analysis confirmed this outcome. The negative correlation between earthworm abundance and total macroaggregates and microaggregates within macroaggregate could be linked to the presence of high numbers of Nematogenia lacuum in the arable treatments without organic amendments, an endogeic species that feeds on excrements of other larger epigeic worms and produces small excrements. Under the conditions studied, differences in earthworm abundance, biomass and diversity were more important drivers of management-induced changes in aggregate stability and soil C and N pools than differences in termite populations. Highlights ¿ Application of farm yard manure + fertilizer improved aggregate stability and C and N stabilization in soil. ¿ Application of maize stover did not improve soil aggregation and C and N stabilization. ¿ Farm yard manure + fertilizer application enhanced earthworm diversity and biomass. ¿ Higher earthworm diversity and biomass enhanced aggregate and C and N stabilization. ¿ Earthworms were more important drivers of aggregate and C and N stabilization than termites.

AB - Maintenance of soil organic matter through integrated soil fertility management is important for soil quality and agricultural productivity, and for the persistence of soil faunal diversity and biomass. Little is known about the interactive effects of soil fertility management and soil macrofauna diversity on soil aggregation and SOM dynamics in tropical arable cropping systems. A study was conducted in a long-term trial at Kabete, Central Kenya, to investigate the effects of organic inputs (maize stover or manure) and inorganic fertilizers on soil macrofauna abundance, biomass and taxonomic diversity, water stable aggregation, whole soil and aggregate-associated organic C and N, as well as the relations between these variables. Differently managed arable systems were compared to a long-term green fallow system representing a relatively undisturbed reference. Fallowing, and application of farm yard manure (FYM) in combination with fertilizer, significantly enhanced earthworm diversity and biomass as well as aggregate stability and C and N pools in the top 15 cm of the soil. Earthworm abundance significantly negatively correlated with the percentage of total macroaggregates and microaggregates within macroaggregates, but all earthworm parameters positively correlated with whole soil and aggregate associated C and N, unlike termite parameters. Factor analysis showed that 35.3% of the total sample variation in aggregation and C and N in total soil and aggregate fractions was explained by earthworm parameters, and 25.5% by termite parameters. Multiple regression analysis confirmed this outcome. The negative correlation between earthworm abundance and total macroaggregates and microaggregates within macroaggregate could be linked to the presence of high numbers of Nematogenia lacuum in the arable treatments without organic amendments, an endogeic species that feeds on excrements of other larger epigeic worms and produces small excrements. Under the conditions studied, differences in earthworm abundance, biomass and diversity were more important drivers of management-induced changes in aggregate stability and soil C and N pools than differences in termite populations. Highlights ¿ Application of farm yard manure + fertilizer improved aggregate stability and C and N stabilization in soil. ¿ Application of maize stover did not improve soil aggregation and C and N stabilization. ¿ Farm yard manure + fertilizer application enhanced earthworm diversity and biomass. ¿ Higher earthworm diversity and biomass enhanced aggregate and C and N stabilization. ¿ Earthworms were more important drivers of aggregate and C and N stabilization than termites.

KW - fungus-growing termites

KW - earthworm activity

KW - microaggregate formation

KW - nitrogenous fertilizers

KW - physical-properties

KW - agricultural soils

KW - input management

KW - feeding termite

KW - carbon

KW - dynamics

U2 - 10.1016/j.apsoil.2011.02.001

DO - 10.1016/j.apsoil.2011.02.001

M3 - Article

VL - 48

SP - 53

EP - 62

JO - Applied Soil Ecology

JF - Applied Soil Ecology

SN - 0929-1393

IS - 1

ER -