Submitted to: Soil Ecology Society Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 1, 2003
Publication Date: May 12, 2003
Citation: Lachnicht Weyers, S.L., Schomberg, H.H., Tillman, P.G. 2003. Differences in the soil microarthropod community under two winter cover crops in strip-tilled cotton [abstract]. Soil Ecology Society, 9th Biannual International Conference "Invasive Species and Soil Ecology." p. 49-50. Technical Abstract: It is understood that implementing conservation tillage practices will improve soil quality. Increased soil organic matter under conservation tillage supports the development of the soil biotic community. Organic matter quantity and quality influence soil microarthropod abundance and diversity. Our objective was to examine the microarthropod community as an indicator of the impact of cover crop and strip-tillage, a conservation tillage practice, on soil quality. We examined microarthropod community differences in strip-tilled cotton planted into two different winter cover crop fields (legume blend, rye-legume blend) over a two-year period. Results from the first year indicated seasonal changes in abundance and diversity of mites. In this first year Prostigmata were the most abundant across all fields and seasons, on average making up greater then 40% of the community. Astigmata and insects, exclusive of Collembola, were rare, generally less than 5% of total abundance. Abundance and diversity of microarthropods were highest in mid-season samples. Abundances of all microarthropod groups were greatest in the Blend in the pre-season, greatest in the Rye-legume Blend mid-season, and similar between cover crops in end-season samples.