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IBQS: A synthetic index of soil quality based on soil macro-invertebrate communities

Abstract : We developed a synthetic index of biological soil quality (IBQS) based on soil macro-invertebrate community patterns to assess soil quality. In 22 sites representing the diversity of agroecosystems encountered in France, invertebrate communities co-varied significantly with a set of 14 parameters describing the physical and chemical properties of soil (co-inertia, p < 0.001; RV¼ 0.70). Using hierarchical classification, sites could be separated into four homogeneous groups and, using the 'indicator value' method, 46 indicator taxa characteristic of one or another of these groups were identified.We then used a formula that takes into account the abundance of indicator species and their respective indicator values to score soils from 1 to 20. IBQS was able to detect the effects of management practices on soil quality. Soil quality varied from 6 to 20 in forests, 7 to 9 in pastures and 2 to 9 in crops respectively. This suggests that well-managed crops and pastures may have better soil quality than some forests. Our results confirm that soil macro-invertebrates provide an integrative measure of soil quality and that the proposed index can be used either in short- or long-term monitoring, provided that it is calibrated and validated with respect to the regional context of the study.
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Submitted on : Friday, November 8, 2013 - 11:20:07 AM
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Nuria Ruiz, Jérôme Mathieu, Léonide Celini, Christine Rollard, Gerard Hommay, et al.. IBQS: A synthetic index of soil quality based on soil macro-invertebrate communities. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Elsevier, 2011, 43 (10), pp.2032-2045. ⟨10.1016/j.soilbio.2011.05.019⟩. ⟨bioemco-00881416⟩



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