Surface activity of soil ecosystem engineers and soil structure in contrasted land use systems of Colombia uri icon

abstract

  • This study describes the impact of the conversion of native Colombian savannahs into crops and pastures on: (1) the quantity and diversity of the bio-structures produced by soil ecosystem engineers and (2) soil structure. Bio-structure diversity decreased in all agroecosystems (12 types in the savannah, four to six in pastures and three in crops). Bio-structures were mostly earthworm casts in native savannah and pastures, and ant mounds in crops. Compared with the savannah (750 cm(3) m(-2)), their volume increased in the old pasture (+48%) and decreased in recent pasture and crops (-65% to -97%). Soil structure was similar to savannah soil in the older pasture, but was sharply affected in annual crops. In contrast to crops, pastures appear to sustain soil structure and are also suitable for engineering activity. (C) 2002 Editions scientifiques et medicales Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2002
  • 2002