Associations Between Different Soil Management Practices, Soil Fauna and Maize Yield

  •  Ana Luiza Privado Martins    
  •  Glécio Machado Siqueira    
  •  Emanoel Gomes de Moura    
  •  Raimunda Alves Silva    
  •  Anágila Janenis Cardoso Silva    
  •  Alana das Chagas Ferreira Aguiar    


Soil fauna play an important role in ecosystems, and in this context, it is important to better understand how the abiotic and biotic drivers of these organisms interact. We hypothesize that soil fauna are affected by different soil management practices, which has an influence on maize grain yields. The aim of this study was to evaluate the structure of soil fauna under different soil management practices and their associations with maize grain yield. The experiment was conducted in Maranhão, Brazil, in an area divided into 24 plots of 4 × 10 m in a randomized block design with six treatments with four replicates (R). Pitfall traps were placed in the area. The treatments were Leucaena leucocephala-Leucaena (L), nitrogen (N), humic acid + nitrogen (HA + N), nitrogen + Leucaena (N + L), humic acid + Leucaena (HA + L) and humic acid + nitrogen + Leucaena (HA + N + L). The soil fauna dominance, abundance, richness, Shannon-Wiener diversity index, Pielou evenness index and maize grain yield were determined. Formicidae was clearly affected by management with Leucaena, while Coleoptera was affected by management with nitrogen. Despite this, Isopoda and Diplura were the only groups associated with the maize yield. Although fauna abundance did not differ among treatments, it was related to the yield. This study confirms that the abundance and some taxa of soil fauna can influence yield and that these organisms can be used to increase agricultural sustainability.

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