Rich plant diversity had positive effects on soil properties and soil fauna in rubber plantation

2022-07-28 0 By

Plant diversity affects soil properties and, in turn, plant productivity.Soil quality (SQ) involves the process of assessing soil properties and their relationship to the ability of soils to function effectively as components of a healthy ecosystem.However, there are few reports on the relationship between plant diversity and SQ in different seasons in Xishuangbanna rubber plantation.In a study published in the journal Ecology Indicators, researchers from xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) attempted to analyze the response of soil properties as an indicator of soil quality across plant diversity and seasons.They confirmed the hypothesis that high plant diversity has positive effects on both soil properties and soil fauna in rubber plantations.During the dry and rainy seasons, soil samples at depths of 0-10 cm were collected at four sites (Buben, Jingtai, Naban River National Nature Reserve and XTBG) in Xishuangbanna, southwest China, and 16 soil properties were analyzed.The soil quality index (SQI) was calculated using the minimum data set obtained from principal component analysis.They found significant differences in soil quality index (SQI) values between different plant diversity in different seasons.Low plant diversity significantly reduced nematode abundance at four sites.Season (drought and flood) and plant diversity (high and low) had great influence on arthropod population.Increased plant diversity had a positive effect on soil quality, with SQI highest in the dry season.Total organic carbon, total nitrogen, arthropod abundance, dry root mass, nematode abundance and total sulfur were the key indexes of soil quality, among which total nitrogen and total organic carbon contributed the most to soil quality.”Therefore, we believe that the management of natural understory vegetation will benefit the maintenance of SQ in xishuangbanna rubber plantation,” said Professor Xiaodong Yang, lead researcher of the study.