Earthworm activity affects soil aggregation and organic matter dynamics according to the quality and localization of crop residues--An experimental study (Madagascar)

Abstract : Soil organic matter (SOM) plays a central role in the functioning of ecosystems, and is beneficial from agronomic and from environmental point of view. Alternative cultural systems, like direct seeding mulch-based cropping (DMC) systems, enhance carbon (C) sequestration in agricultural soils and lead to an increase in soil macrofauna. This study aimed at evaluating in field mesocosms the effects of earthworms on SOM dynamics and aggregation, as influenced by residue quality and management. In the highlands of Madagascar, buckets were filled with 2 mm-sieved clayey Inceptisol. The effects of earthworm addition (Pontoscolex corethrurus), residue addition (rice, soybean, and no addition), and localization of the residues (mulched or buried) were studied. After 5 months, soil from mesocosms with earthworms had significantly lower C concentration and higher proportion of large water-stable macroaggregates (>2000 μm) than those without earthworms, because of the production of large macroaggregates by earthworms. Earthworm effect on soil aggregation was greater with rice than with soybean residues. Casts (extracted from mesocosms with earthworms) were slightly enriched in C and showed significantly higher mineralization than the non-ingested soil (NIS), showing that at the time scale of our study, the carbon contained in the casts was not protected against mineralization. No difference in microbial biomass was found between casts and NIS. Complementary investigations are necessary to assess long-term effects of earthworm addition on SOM dynamics, the conditions of occurrence of physical protection, and the impact of earthworms on the structure of the microbial community.
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Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Elsevier, 2007, 39 (8), pp.2119-2128. 〈10.1016/j.soilbio.2007.03.019〉
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Soumis le : jeudi 6 décembre 2012 - 15:57:29
Dernière modification le : mercredi 10 octobre 2018 - 14:28:12

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S. Coq, B. Barthès, R. Oliver, B. Rabary, E. Blanchart. Earthworm activity affects soil aggregation and organic matter dynamics according to the quality and localization of crop residues--An experimental study (Madagascar). Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Elsevier, 2007, 39 (8), pp.2119-2128. 〈10.1016/j.soilbio.2007.03.019〉. 〈cirad-00762200〉

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