Monitoring and assessment of soil fauna diversity in agroecosystems
Agricultural management like soil tillage, cropping sequence, plant pest management, fertilisation etc. controls biodiversity in agroecosystems. Presence and abundance of different species of soil fauna affect soil functions considerably.
Keystone species of the microfauna (e.g. nematodes), mesofauna (e.g. enchytraeids, collembolans) and the macrofauna (e.g. earthworms) are involved in many important soil processes. The identification of keystone species in soil and assessment of their interactions in soil under the specific conditions of agricultural management are priority objectives of research to gain scientific knowledge for maintaining our resources of agricultural production.
Our aims are
(i) to identify and to assess soil fauna diversity in agroecosystems;
(ii) to find solutions for the protection and promotion of soil fauna diversity in agroecosystems.
We disseminate our scientific output to the science community, to farmers and advisors as well as policy makers and the wider public.
Based on standardised methods according to ISO guidelines, we take sample in agricultural fields under varying management schemes at experimental sites and farms to monitor and assess the diversity of earthworms, collembolans and nematodes in different soils.
Our results on the diversity of soil fauna are published in various journals, book chapters and brochures covering the following subjects: soil tillage, soil compaction, effect of greenhouse gases, organic farming.
Permanent task 8.2003 - 12.2028
Project status: ongoing