Development of the soil macrofauna community under silvopastoral and agrosilvicultural systems in Amazonia
The Brazilian Amazon has experienced extensive land conversion from forests to cattle pasture, many of which now lay abandoned. Agro-forestry serves as one potential solution to this problem and this study examines the re-establishment of a diversified soil macrofauna in order to inform this approach.
Goals & Methods
The goal of this study was to analyze the effect that different agroforestry systems have on the recolonization of macrofauna in the soil of former pasture lands. The study took place at an experimental resarech station on abandonded pastureland. Four treatments were tested: 1. a high-input silvopastoral system (ASPh), 2. a low-input silvopastoral system (ASPl), 3. a palm based system with four tree crop species (AS1) and 4. a high-diversity tree crop system with ten tree crop species (AS2). The control was a spontaneous fallow.
Conclusions & Takeaways
While the density of microfauna was comparable across systems, the species richness was significantly higher in ASPh and ASPI systems suggesting that cover crop plays an important role in creating a favorable environment for soil fauna. There were also differences in faunal density between speices with faster growing species having significantly more soil fauna than slower growing species.
Barros, E., Neves, A., Blanchart, E., Fernandes, E.C.M., Wandelli, E. and Lavelle, P. 2003. "Development of the soil macrofauna community under silvopastoral and agrosilvicultural systems in Amazonia", Pedoiologia, vol. 47, pp. 273-280.
- Insituto Nacional de Pesquisas de Amazonia
- Embrapa Amazonia Ocidental