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Effects of soil management practices on soil fauna feeding activity in an Indonesian oil palm plantation

Effects of soil management practices on soil fauna feeding activity in an Indonesian oil palm plantation
Effects of soil management practices on soil fauna feeding activity in an Indonesian oil palm plantation
Optimizing the use of available soil management practices in oil palm plantations is crucial to enhance long-term soil fertility and productivity. However, this needs a thorough understanding of the functional responses of soil biota to these management practices. To address this knowledge gap, we used the bait lamina method to investigate the effects of different soil management practices on soil fauna feeding activity, and whether feeding activity was associated with management-mediated changes in soil chemical properties, in a 15-year-old oil palm plantation. We examined the four management zones: (1) empty fruit bunch (EFB) application along the sides of harvesting paths; (2) chemical fertilization within palm circles; (3) understory vegetation with pruned fronds in inter-row areas; (4) no input in the cleared part of the harvesting paths. Our results showed significantly higher soil fauna feeding activity under the EFB application compared to other management practices, and this was associated with improved soil chemical properties and soil moisture conditions. Principal component analysis on soil properties indicated that 71.2% of variance was explained by the first two principal components (PCs). Soil pH, base saturation and soil moisture contributed positively to PC1, while exchangeable aluminum and hydrogen contributed negatively to PC1. The results demonstrate that different soil management practices at the tree-scale have the ability to create spatial complexity in soil fauna feeding activity and soil chemical properties. This suggests that the practice of EFB application plays an important role in enhancing soil ecosystem functioning in oil palm plantations, which may ultimately contribute to sustainable palm oil production.
empty fruit bunch, efb, bait lamina, soil biological process, chemical fertilizer, sustainable palm oil
0167-8809
133-140
Tao, Hsiao-Hang
8465d23d-f71d-41c4-b49e-f0a0ff09035b
Slade, Eleanor M.
12ef36e4-a609-4fa9-89af-b2ad4479d015
Willis, Katherine J.
7ab089d1-4fd6-40aa-90d8-b55bf5ab0edb
Caliman, Jean Pierre
6fbb20ad-77e7-4ec6-b162-dfaa78e1780c
Snaddon, Jake Lanion
31a601f7-c9b0-45e2-b59b-fda9a0c5a54b
Tao, Hsiao-Hang
8465d23d-f71d-41c4-b49e-f0a0ff09035b
Slade, Eleanor M.
12ef36e4-a609-4fa9-89af-b2ad4479d015
Willis, Katherine J.
7ab089d1-4fd6-40aa-90d8-b55bf5ab0edb
Caliman, Jean Pierre
6fbb20ad-77e7-4ec6-b162-dfaa78e1780c
Snaddon, Jake Lanion
31a601f7-c9b0-45e2-b59b-fda9a0c5a54b

Tao, Hsiao-Hang, Slade, Eleanor M., Willis, Katherine J., Caliman, Jean Pierre and Snaddon, Jake Lanion (2016) Effects of soil management practices on soil fauna feeding activity in an Indonesian oil palm plantation. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 218, 133-140. (doi:10.1016/j.agee.2015.11.012).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Optimizing the use of available soil management practices in oil palm plantations is crucial to enhance long-term soil fertility and productivity. However, this needs a thorough understanding of the functional responses of soil biota to these management practices. To address this knowledge gap, we used the bait lamina method to investigate the effects of different soil management practices on soil fauna feeding activity, and whether feeding activity was associated with management-mediated changes in soil chemical properties, in a 15-year-old oil palm plantation. We examined the four management zones: (1) empty fruit bunch (EFB) application along the sides of harvesting paths; (2) chemical fertilization within palm circles; (3) understory vegetation with pruned fronds in inter-row areas; (4) no input in the cleared part of the harvesting paths. Our results showed significantly higher soil fauna feeding activity under the EFB application compared to other management practices, and this was associated with improved soil chemical properties and soil moisture conditions. Principal component analysis on soil properties indicated that 71.2% of variance was explained by the first two principal components (PCs). Soil pH, base saturation and soil moisture contributed positively to PC1, while exchangeable aluminum and hydrogen contributed negatively to PC1. The results demonstrate that different soil management practices at the tree-scale have the ability to create spatial complexity in soil fauna feeding activity and soil chemical properties. This suggests that the practice of EFB application plays an important role in enhancing soil ecosystem functioning in oil palm plantations, which may ultimately contribute to sustainable palm oil production.

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Tao H.H. et al 2015.pdf - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Submitted date: 12 May 2015
Accepted/In Press date: 5 November 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 4 December 2015
Published date: 15 February 2016
Keywords: empty fruit bunch, efb, bait lamina, soil biological process, chemical fertilizer, sustainable palm oil
Organisations: Environmental

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 389837
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/389837
ISSN: 0167-8809
PURE UUID: 52d9f2a1-cc09-4a71-911e-a06ddebd0dd8
ORCID for Jake Lanion Snaddon: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3549-5472

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 16 Mar 2016 11:30
Last modified: 23 Jul 2022 02:08

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Contributors

Author: Hsiao-Hang Tao
Author: Eleanor M. Slade
Author: Katherine J. Willis
Author: Jean Pierre Caliman

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