Edaphic arthropod communities provide valuable information about the prevailing status of soil quality to improve the functionality and long-term sustainability of soil management. The study aimed at evaluating the effect of plant and grass cover on the functional biodiversity and soil characteristics in a mature olive orchard (Olea europaea L.) managed for ten years by two conservation soil managements: natural grass cover (NC) and conservation tillage (CT). The trees under CT grew and yielded more than those under NC during the period of increasing yields (years 4–7) but not when they reached full production. Soil management did not affect the tree root density. Collecting samples underneath the canopy (UC) and in the inter-row space (IR), the edaphic environment was characterized by soil structure, hydrological properties, the concentration and storage of soil organic carbon pools and the distribution of microarthropod communities. The soil organic carbon pools (total and humified) were negatively affected by minimum tillage in IR, but not UC, without a loss in fruit and oil yield. The assemblages of microarthropods benefited, firstly, from the grass cover, secondly, from the canopy effect, and thirdly, from a soil structure ensuring a high air capacity and water storage. Feeding functional groups—hemiedaphic macrosaprophages, polyphages and predators—resulted in selecting the ecotonal microenvironment between the surface and edaphic habitat.

Effect of long-term soil management practices on tree growth, yield and soil biodiversity in a high-density olive agro-ecosystem

Caruso G.
Secondo
;
Gucci R.;Palai G.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Edaphic arthropod communities provide valuable information about the prevailing status of soil quality to improve the functionality and long-term sustainability of soil management. The study aimed at evaluating the effect of plant and grass cover on the functional biodiversity and soil characteristics in a mature olive orchard (Olea europaea L.) managed for ten years by two conservation soil managements: natural grass cover (NC) and conservation tillage (CT). The trees under CT grew and yielded more than those under NC during the period of increasing yields (years 4–7) but not when they reached full production. Soil management did not affect the tree root density. Collecting samples underneath the canopy (UC) and in the inter-row space (IR), the edaphic environment was characterized by soil structure, hydrological properties, the concentration and storage of soil organic carbon pools and the distribution of microarthropod communities. The soil organic carbon pools (total and humified) were negatively affected by minimum tillage in IR, but not UC, without a loss in fruit and oil yield. The assemblages of microarthropods benefited, firstly, from the grass cover, secondly, from the canopy effect, and thirdly, from a soil structure ensuring a high air capacity and water storage. Feeding functional groups—hemiedaphic macrosaprophages, polyphages and predators—resulted in selecting the ecotonal microenvironment between the surface and edaphic habitat.
2021
Simoni, S.; Caruso, G.; Vignozzi, N.; Gucci, R.; Valboa, G.; Pellegrini, S.; Palai, G.; Goggioli, D.; Gagnarli, E.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1114046
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