Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
Abstract The decomposition of rice straw was studied in relation to straw moisture and the abundance of soil arthropods, such as Acarina, Collembola, and miscellaneous groups dominated by termites [Odontotermes obesus (Rambur) and Microtermes obesi Holmgren], across tillage treatments (no tillage, shallow tillage, and deep tillage) in Alfisols of the semi-arid tropics in India from August 1989 to July 1990. In the straw, across the treatments, Acarina were dominant (〉70% of the total arthropods), and Collembola were a minor component. O. obesus and M. obesi foraged straw together under the cover of an earthern sheet. A larger number of arthropods was recorded during the rainy season, but they were either negligible or absent during the dry season. The abundance of arthropods and mass loss of straw was greater in coarse-mesh bags than in the fine-mesh bags. Their abundance was significantly affected by tillage treatments and season (P〈0.01). In the beginning, it was significantly greater in the no-tillage and shallow-tillage than in the deep-tillage treatment. The mass loss was 46% of the initial mass during the first 60 days, and more than 90% after 330 days of decomposition. Tillage had a significant effect on mass loss, particularly after 330 days, and the no tillage treatment led to a greater mass loss. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that the moisture content of the straw and the abundance of arthropods had significantly affected the mass loss in both fine-and coarse-mesh bags across the tillage managements.
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