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Comparative analysis of #Andiodrilus pachoensis$ casts in forests and pastures of South-Eastern Amazon (Brazil)

Abstract : Soil ecosystem engineers produce biogenic structures (casts, mounds, galleries) that strongly affect soil processes. A comparative analysis of the physical characteristics of the casts produced by the earthworm Andiodrilus pachoensis was carried out in four pastures sowed with Brachiaria brizantha and four primary forests on the deforestation front of the Amazonian forest. In both systems, we recorded surface cast density and spatial patterns as well as surface cast physical properties. Cast and vegetation distributions were mapped within plots of sizes ranging from 25 to 50 m(2), and cast production was monitored during 2 months. Cast spatial distribution varied greatly among plots and across spatial scales ranging from regular at small spatial scales (0-20 cm) to clumped for larger distance ranges (>80 cm). Cast density was not significantly correlated with grass tuft density and their production was independent from the presence of grass tufts in pastures or litter quantity in forests. Although bulk soil properties (pH, C content, structural stability, etc) differed between pastures and forests, cast physical properties did not differ significantly among the studied ecosystem.
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Submitted on : Monday, June 29, 2009 - 2:19:46 PM
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Fabien Thomas, Jean-Pierre Rossi, Thibaud Decaëns, Michel Grimaldi, Patrick Lavelle, et al.. Comparative analysis of #Andiodrilus pachoensis$ casts in forests and pastures of South-Eastern Amazon (Brazil). European Journal of Soil Biology, Elsevier, 2008, 44 (5-6), pp.545-553. ⟨10.1016/j.ejsobi.2008.09.003⟩. ⟨bioemco-00399937⟩



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