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Soil microarthropods respond differently to simulated drought in organic and conventional farming systems

Meyer, Svenja; Kundel, Dominika; Birkhofer, Klaus; Fliessbach, Andreas and Scheu, Stefan (2021) Soil microarthropods respond differently to simulated drought in organic and conventional farming systems. Ecology and Evolution, 11, pp. 10369-10380.

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Document available online at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ece3.7839


Summary

In Central Europe, summer droughts are increasing in frequency which threatens production and biodiversity in agroecosystems. The potential of different farming systems to mitigate detrimental drought effects on soil animals is largely unknown. We investigated the effects of simulated drought on the abundance and community composition of soil microarthropods (Collembola and Oribatida and Meso-, Pro-, and Astigmata) in winter wheat fields under long-term conventional and organic farming in the DOK trial, Switzerland. We simulated drought by excluding 65% of the ambient precipitation during the wheat-growing season from March to June 2017. The abundance of Collembola and Oribatida declined more consistently in conventionally managed fields compared to organically managed fields under simulated drought. The abundance of Collembola as well as Meso-, Pro- and Astigmata, but not the abundance of Oribatida, increased in deeper soil layers due to simulated drought, suggesting vertical migration as a drought avoidance strategy. The species composition of Oribatida communities, but not of Collembola communities, differed significantly between drought treatments and between farming systems. Soil carbon content was a major factor structuring Oribatida communities. Our results suggest that organic farming buffers negative effects of drought on soil microarthropods, presumably due to higher soil carbon content and associated higher soil moisture and improved soil structure. This potential of organic farming systems to mitigate consequences of future droughts on soil biodiversity is promising and needs further exploration across larger climatic and spatial scales and should be extended to other groups of soil biota.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:farming systems, agroecosystems, Collembola, DOK trial, drought, organic farming, Oribatida, soil carbon, Abacus, FiBL10101, SoilClim
Agrovoc keywords:
Language
Value
URI
English
farming systems
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_2807
English
agroecosystems
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_36669
English
biodiversity
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_33949
Subjects: Soil > Soil quality
Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Crops > Field trials > DOK Trial
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Soil > Soil quality
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Crops > Field trials > Systems comparison
Germany > University of Göttingen
Germany > Other organizations
DOI:DOI: 10.1002/ece3.7839
Related Links:https://www.fibl.org/en/themes/projectdatabase/projectitem/project/1286
Deposited By: Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau, FiBL
ID Code:42457
Deposited On:30 Sep 2021 09:29
Last Modified:05 Jan 2022 13:48
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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