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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Characterization of Soil and Litter Fauna in Different Cocoa Agroecosystems

Authors
item Kellen, Marie - UENF, BRAZIL
item Forestieri, Emanuela - UENF, BRAZIL
item Carlos, Antonio - UENF, BRAZIL
item Rebouça Machado, Regina Cele - ALMIRANTE, CASCA BRAZIL
item Baligar, Virupax

Submitted to: Proceedings of the International Cocoa Producer's Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 29, 2006
Publication Date: October 14, 2006
Citation: Kellen, M., Forestieri, E., Carlos, A., Rebouça Machado, R., Baligar, V.C. Characterization of soil and litter fauna in different cocoa agroecosystems. Proceedings of the International Cocoa Producer's Conference. 10.14.2006

Interpretive Summary: Soil microbial communities (fauna) play a significant role in crop residue, litter decomposition and on soil functional properties such as nutrient cycling. Management practices as well as climate, soil type and vegetation greatly affect faunal activities. Experiments were undertaken to characterize faunal activities of soils in cacao agroecosystems of Bahia Brazil. Soil microbial communities in cacao agroecosystems were influenced by the vegetative cover and showed seasonal variations. Soil microbial communities in cacao agroecosystems were comparable to natural forest. These findings showed that growing cacao is not detrimental to soil fauna communities. Methods developed in this study will be useful in monitoring soil biological quality factors in various agroforestry management systems. This research will be useful to agronomists, agroforestry managers and extension people studying sustainable cacao management systems.

Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to characterize the density and diversity of meso and macro-fauna of soils located under cacao agrosystems of southern Bahia, Brazil. The researched areas studied were: Cacao improved with Erythrina spp. shade tree (CRE); Cacao under an improved cabruca (CRC); Cacao under old cabruca (CAC); Cacao with old Erythrina spp. shade tree. (CAE); Dense clonal garden (JCA); and Native forest (MN). The soil and litter samples were collected in the winter of 2003, and in the summer and winter of 2004. The extraction of the fauna was accomplished by adapting the Berlese-Tüllgren funnel method. The soil fauna community was influenced by the different vegetative covers and seasonal variations. Larger density and richness of faunal activities were observed in litter than in the soil. The predominant fauna groups under the study areas were Formicidae and Collembola. In general, a reduction was not observed in the community of soil fauna in the cocoa agrosystems when compared to natural forest, indicating that both systems can be utilized in soil conservation management.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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