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Murviel-lès-Montpellier, France

Carron M.P.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | Auriac Q.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | Auriac Q.,Montpellier SupAgro | Snoeck D.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | And 6 more authors.
European Journal of Soil Biology | Year: 2015

The African oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) is grown on a total area of 16millionha; but data on soil quality in mature oil palm plantations are fragmentary and data concerning biota are almost non-existent. Consequently, no well-tested sampling method is available for soil diagnoses. We studied the spatial heterogeneity of the soil around the palm by measuring comprehensive soil quality in a 24-year-old oil palm plantation. Soil quality and litter were assessed in five zones with different plant cover, and different applications of herbicide or fertilizer. Physical-chemical characteristics, macrofauna, and nematofauna were analysed. A sampling method was developed and adapted to the way the cultivation practices are implemented: sampling by zone and weighting the plot mean by the respective area of each zone. The total density of macrofauna in the litter and in the 0-15cm soil layer followed a gradient from the harvest pathway (29indm-2) to the windrow (1003indm-2). Ants (13-237indm-2), earthworms (11-120indm-2), Dermaptera (0-35indm-2), Coleoptera (3-24indm-2) and Chilopoda (0-43indm-2) were the main taxa. The termite population was very poor (3-4indm-2). The density of nematofauna was also heterogeneous (268-805ind100g-1 of soil). Heterogeneity between zones was also reflected in the density of the functional groups, mainly soil engineers, detritivores and predators for macrofauna and bacterial feeders, and phytoparasites for nematofauna. The weeded circular zone around the palm had the highest soil nutrient content (P, K, Ca, Mg, Corg CEC, base saturation). Its biodiversity was average but it contained the highest density of earthworms and nematofauna. Possible relationships between chemicals and biological groups in the food web are discussed. •First data on the soil macrofauna and nematofauna beneath mature oil palm.•Spatial heterogeneity of the practices induces heterogeneous soil quality.•The weeded circle had the highest soil nutrient content and earthworm density.•The windrow, chemically poorer than circle, had the highest density in macrofauna.•Plot weighted means were calculated according to the zone areas around the palm. © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS. Source

Lardo E.,University of Basilicata | Palese A.M.,University of Basilicata | Arouss A.,University of Basilicata | Ferrazzano G.,University of Basilicata | And 6 more authors.
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2015

Non-invasive geophysical methods, such as EMI (Electromagnetic Induction), are innovative tools to study soil biological parameters. This work was carried out to assess correlations between soil earthworm abundance and biomass and soil apparent electrical conductivity (ECa) measured by means of a Profiler GSSI EMP-400. The trial was performed in a 1-hectare commercial peach orchard characterized by a clay loam soil. Mustard method combined with hand-sorting technique were used to sample earthworms in areas (1 × 1 m) falling in cover cropped (CC) and chemically weeded (CW) strips. Statistically significant linear relationships were found between ECa, measured at 13 kHz, and earthworm biomasses in both CC and CW strips (R2 >0.72). Instead, abundance earthworm showed relations only in CW strips (R2 >0.50). EMI technique seems to be a very efficient tool to locate representative soil sampling areas and spatialize earthworm parameters at field level. © 2015 ISHS. Source

Carron M.P.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | Auriac Q.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | Auriac Q.,Montpellier SupAgro | Snoeck D.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | And 6 more authors.
European Journal of Soil Biology | Year: 2016

Recycling empty fruit bunches (EFBs) in mature oil palm stands usually consists in distributing them over a limited area representing 3%-10% of the plot. The impact of this practice on soil quality, including soil biodiversity, is not well known at the plot scale. We analysed soil physical, chemical, and biological variables. Five zones were defined around the palm tree to assess spatial heterogeneity due to plant cover and application of organic and inorganic fertilisers. Each zone was analysed separately. Our study revealed marked variations in mineral contents around the palm tree, ranging from deficiency to excess or nutrient imbalance in adjacent zones, particularly in available P and K, Mg and pH. Similar variations in macrofauna were observed both in the litter and the soil. Our results demonstrate that the changes caused by plant cover and applications of fertiliser are mainly limited in space, but that earthworm communities move as a function of variations in nutrient availability or stress associated with EFB deposition over time. The Amacher index, adapted to the soil nutrient status for oil palm, indicated that average mineral fertility at the plot scale was rather good. The average density of soil macrofauna and nematofauna was low compared to other tropical ecosystems, but reference data from Indonesia are lacking. Application of EFBs on the harvest path mainly improved the homogeneity of soil quality within the elementary plot around the palm. However these data did not show that recycling EFB stimulates soil fauna communities or carbon sequestration at the plot scale. © 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. Source

Uroz S.,CNRS Trees/Micro-organism Interactions | Bispo A.,ADEME Agence de lEnvironnement | Buee M.,CNRS Trees/Micro-organism Interactions | Cebron A.,CNRS Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Continental Environments | And 7 more authors.
Revue Forestiere Francaise | Year: 2014

Determining the identity and function of forest soil organisms is essential to understand their relative roles, but also to determine their resilience after environmental perturbations. These characteristics are scientific challenges because of the high biological diversity of forest soil organisms, but also because many of them currently remain unknown. In this context, this review presents a snapshot of the difficulty associated with soil organism characterization, the uniqueness of forest soils and methodological and conceptual developments of the last decade. This review also presents the progress in political consideration of soil biology and highlights recent projects related to soil biology and ecosystem services. © AgroParisTech, 2014. Source

Salome C.,Montpellier SupAgro | Coll P.,Montpellier SupAgro | Lardo E.,University of Basilicata | Metay A.,Montpellier SupAgro | And 6 more authors.
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2016

Land management aiming to sustain ecosystem services is an important issue, especially in biodiversity hot spots such as found in Mediterranean areas. In Mediterranean areas, viticulture is an important land use. Vineyards are frequently found on inherently poor soils and are submitted to intensive management practices, which threaten soil functioning and associated ecosystem services. To encourage winegrowers and stakeholders to be reflective and adapt their vineyard practices, we evaluated the effects of three soil management practices (inter row plant cover duration, weeding and fertilization strategies) on soil functioning in 146 commercial plots distributed in Southern France, by a complementary set of biological and physico-chemical indicators. We used the concept of soil dynamic quality to evaluate some soil management practices on soil functioning. The influence of inherent soil properties derived from pedogenesis on soil dynamic indicator response was accounted for by considering the response of soil indicators for three soil groups differing in their stoniness and Ca carbonate content. The three soil management practices systematically influenced some nematode-based indicators, whereas other indicators were ascribable to a specific soil type or practice. We demonstrated that the potential of soil management practices to enhance soil functioning is restricted by soil type. In particular for calcareous soils, the soil functioning is very stable limiting effects of soil management practices. The presence of a cover crop, even temporary, in the inter row, is the only practice which benefits soil functioning whatever the soil type whereas organic fertilization and chemical weeding exhibit contrasting results on soil functioning. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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