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Response of soil mites to organic cultivation in an ultisol in southeast Brazil

, : Response of soil mites to organic cultivation in an ultisol in southeast Brazil. Experimental & Applied Acarology 34(3-4): 345-365

Soil-dwelling mites of four plots under organic management were investigated in April and December 1998 and in December 1999. Their populations were compared with mite populations in a pasture and forest in the vicinity. It was observed that there was always an initial reduction in the populations of soil mites and in the activity of the epigeic forms whenever a plot was opened up and disturbed mechanically in preparation for cultivation, irrespective of previous organic inputs. With time, the densities and activities of mites recovered under organic management. The uropodine and oribatid mites in particular benefited more from organic management than gamasine and actinedid mites. Uropodine mites increased tremendously under banana where there was fresh cow dung manure. Oribatid mite species Nothrus seropedicalensis and Archegozetes magnus were dominant in organic plots where the soil was moist and temperatures were lower than the ambient. Protoribates rioensis was dominant in organic plots where the soil was drier and temperatures were higher than the ambient. Galumna was the most active oribatid taxon on the floor of all plots, with the highest activity recorded under maracuja and in pasture plots. The results suggest that while densities and activities of soil mites increased in the organic plots, the community structure and recruitment period of oribatid mites were altered. Oribatid mite diversity was higher in the organic plots than in the pasture but lower than in the forest, where Belba sp. and many Eremobelboid brachypiline genera were present, but absent in the organic plots and pasture.


PMID: 15651531

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