Agroecological Study of Sustainable Crop Production Systems – Effect of tillage on the abundance of soil organisms-

Research Project , Research Report 2004

Tomomi NAKAMOTO Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo
Fumi MIURA Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo
Satoshi KANEDA National Agricultural Research Center for Tohoku Region
Seigo OKANO National Agricultural Research Center for Tohoku Region
Miyuki NAKAJIMA National Agricultural Research Center for Tohoku Region
Toshifumi MURAKAMI National Agricultural Research Center for Tohoku Region(Research Partner)
Peter STAMP Institute of Plant Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

Abstract

We investigated the population dynamics and vertical distributions of microbes and several soil faunal groups for 2 years in field Andosols in northeastern Japan. The experimental plots were under no-tillage (NT) and conventional tillage (CT) management. Although bacterial and fungal substrate-induced respiration (SIR) in the 0-10 cm soil layer were both higher under NT than under CT, the populations of soil fauna in this soil layer did not differ significantly except for enchytraeids, which were more abundant under NT. In contrast, both SIR values were higher in the 10-20 cm layer under CT, where larger populations of protozoa, free-living nematodes, mites, and collembola were recorded. Thus, negative impacts of tillage on soil micro- and mesofauna appeared to be small in this type of soil. The development of more sophisticated tillage techniques is necessary in organic cropping to preserve soil biota and use the beneficial functions of the detritus food web.

Keywords:

Soil biota; Soil ecology; Tillage.