Eur. J. Entomol. 113: 456-461, 2016 | 10.14411/eje.2016.059

The effect of hay mulching on soil temperature and the abundance and diversity of soil-dwelling arthropods in potato fields

Péter DUDÁS1, László MENYHÁRT2, Csongor GEDEON3, Gergely AMBRUS1, Ferenc TÓTH1
1 Institute of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Szent István University, Páter Károly u. 1, H-2100 Gödöllő, Hungary; e-mail: dudpet@gmail.com
2 Department of Economic Methodology, University of Pannonia Georgikon Faculty, Deák Ferenc u.16, H-8360 Keszthely, Hungary; e-mail: menyhart-l@georgikon.hu
3 Department of Agrochemistry and Plant Nutrition, Institute for Soil Sciences and Agricultural Chemistry, Centre for Agricultural Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Herman Ottó út 15, H-1022 Budapest, Hungary; e-mail: csongorg@gmail.com

The average soil temperature was significantly lower in plots covered with hay. Hay mulching, however, did not increase significantly the total number of soil micro-arthropods collected using a soil pin trap and a soil sampler. Significant increases in the number of individuals was recorded only for certain groups. 64% of all the arthropods collected using soil pin traps were collected in hay-covered plots and 36% in control plots. This increase was statistically significant for the orders Entomobryomorpha and Poduromorpha of the subclass Collembola and surface-dwelling (epigeic) Coleoptera. For the samples collected using the soil sampler, 57% of the specimens were collected from hay-covered plots and 43% from control plots. As for the pin traps this was reflected in differences in the numbers of the orders Entomobrhyomorpha and Poduromorpha of the subclass Collembola and Pauropoda, collected in the treated and control plots. We conclude that mulching affected the different arthropod groups differently.

Keywords: Potato field, soil-dwelling arthropods, hay mulch, soil temperature, soil sampler, soil pin trap

Received: March 17, 2016; Accepted: May 30, 2016; Published online: August 29, 2016

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