Cover crop farming system affects macroarthropods community diversity in Regosol of Caatinga, Brazil
The influence of a 3-years cultivation of legumes on macroarthropod community composition was investigated. Soil samples were taken from a field experiment which was conducted for three years to characterize the agronomic characteristics of eight cover crops: Crotalaria juncea L., Crotalaria spectabilis Roth, Crotalaria ochroleuca G. Don., Canavalia ensiformis (L.) DC., Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC., Dolichos lablab L., Neonotonia wightii (Wight & Arn.) J.A. Lackey, and Brachiaria decumbens Stapf. cv. Basilisk. The highest values of diversity in the macroarthropod community were found on the plot where M. pruriens was cultivated. Brachiaria decumbens cultivation showed lower values of species richness, Shannon’s diversity index and Simpson’s dominance index compared to the other studied plant species. Our findings suggest that the cultivation of legume cover crops can change positively the macroarthropod community composition. The results highlight the importance of considering the effects of legumes on the diversity of this biological component and their effect on plant growth and soil organic carbon contents. Thus, legumes may exploit positive feedback in semiarid conditions on a Regosol.
KeywordsMacroarthropod community composition Annual plant species Perennial plant species Soil biology
Special thanks to Dr. Helena Freitas for valuable discussions and checking of English grammar. The authors also thank the anonymous reviewers for helpful comments, which greatly improved a previous version of the manuscript. This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior – Brasil (CAPES) – “Finance Code 001”.
We declare that all the authors made substantial contributions to the conception, design, acquisition, analysis, and interpretation of the data. All the authors participate in drafting the article, revising it critically for important intellectual content; and finally, the authors gave final approval of the version to be submitted to Biologia.
Compliance with ethical standards
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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