The contributions of soil fauna to nutrient cycles in desert systems

TitleThe contributions of soil fauna to nutrient cycles in desert systems
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication1983
AuthorsWhitford WG, Freckman D.W, Parker L.W, Schaefer D, Santos PF, Steinberger Y
EditorLebrun P., André H.M, De Medts A., Grégoire-Wibo C.C, Wauthy G.(eds.)
Conference NameNew Trends in Soil Biology
Series TitleProceedings of the VIII International Colloquium of Soil Zoology
Date Published19821983
PublisherImprimeur Dieu-Brichart, Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve
Conference LocationLouvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
Accession NumberJRN00011
Call Number00396
Keywordsabstract, abstracts, conference, conference proceedings, conferences, decomposition, nutrient cyling, nematode, nutrient cycling, nitrogen cycling, nutrient cycling, soil fauna, proceeding, proceedings, Prostigmata, soil fauna, nutrient cycling, termite, nutrient cycling
Abstract A significant fraction of the nitrogen turnover and of other nutrients in the Chihuahuan desert is through termites and back to the system by the termite predators. Important fluxes of N through termites include consumption of dead plant material, fixation of atmospheric N by gut symbionts and production of N enriched gallery carton. Use of biocides to eliminate soil fauna showed that nitrogen was immobilized in ephemeral plant roots and absence of microarthropods resulted in marked reduction of nitrogen turnover and increased soil organic nitrogen. In untreated roots, nitrogen fluxes were primarily a function of microarthropod activity but in the absence of microarthropods, bacteriophagous nematodes and protozoans accounted for most of the N fluxes.
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