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The effects of land use intensification on soil biodiversity in the pasture

Summary: The effects of land use intensification on soil biodiversity
in the pasture
Aaron Mills and M. Sina Adl
Department of Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 4J1 (e-mail:
millsaaron@gmail.com). Received 16 June 2006, accepted 30 October 2006.
Mills, A. and Adl, M. S. 2006. The effects of land use intensification on soil biodiversity in the pasture. Can. J. Plant Sci. 86:
1339­1343. A long-term multidisciplinary study of pasture agroecology is currently being conducted in Nova Scotia, Canada. The
objective is to examine the relationship between above-ground and below-ground functional diversity, and the effects on agroe-
cosystem productivity. The experimental design consists of four treatments of decreasing land use intensity, applied in the context
of management intensive grazing. Treatments include: (1) clipping and harrowing following each grazing rotation (intensive); (2)
clipping only once following the first defoliation; (3) grazing every second rotation; (4) grazed only once a year (extensive).
Samples were taken from each treatment once during May, July, and September 2005. Edaphic characteristics and plant diversity
were measured, as well as microarthropod, nematode, protist, and bacterial functional group diversity and abundances. Significant
(P < 0.05) effects of treatment were observed on percentage of bare soil, plant species and functional diversity, and bacterial func-
tional diversity. There were also significant (P < 0.05) negative correlations observed between treatment, and both testate amoe-
bae and flagellate abundances. The information obtained from this study over 5 yr will be used to test the relationship between
biodiversity and land-use intensity, and how productivity is affected in the pasture.
Key words: Soil ecology, pasture management, sustainable agriculture, biodiversity, forage grazing
Mills, A. et Adl, M. S. 2006. Incidence de l'exploitation plus intensive des terres sur la biodiversité des pâturages. Can. J.
Plant Sci. 86: 1339­1343. Une étude multidisciplinaire de longue haleine sur l'agroécologie des pâturages se poursuit actuellement


Source: Adl, Sina - Department of Biology, Dalhousie University


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology