Study

Comparing nematode and earthworm communities under combinations of conventional and conservation vegetable production practices

  • Published source details Overstreet L.F., Hoyt G.D. & Imbriani J. (2010) Comparing nematode and earthworm communities under combinations of conventional and conservation vegetable production practices. Soil and Tillage Research, 110, 42-50.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Convert to organic farming

Action Link
Soil Fertility

Change tillage practices

Action Link
Soil Fertility
  1. Convert to organic farming

    A randomized, replicated experiment in 2004 on a fine sandy-loam soil in North Carolina, USA (Overstreet et al. 2010) found more than four times more nematodes in organic strip tillage plots than in conventional tillage plots with synthetic chemical inputs. Nematode numbers were 41% higher under organic inputs, and 48% higher under organic with strip tillage, compared to plots with synthetic inputs and conventional tillage. Earthworm numbers were 31 times higher under strip compared to conventional tillage, and higher under organic rather than conventional inputs in spring only. Combining strip tillage and organic inputs resulted in the highest numbers of nematodes and earthworms. There were four treatments: strip tillage with organic inputs, strip tillage with synthetic inputs (pesticides and fertilizers), conventional tillage with organic inputs and conventional tillage with synthetic inputs. Within each treatment were 12.2 x 24.4 m plots which had vegetable rotations including: wheat Triticum aestivum, crimson clover Trifolium incarnatum, sweet corn Zea mays, cabbage and broccoli Brassica oleracea, tomato Solanum lycopersicum, squash Curcurbita pepo, cucumbers Cucumis sativus and peppers Capsicum annuum. There were four replications of the tillage and input combinations. The study took nematode samples and earthworm extractions (species not specified for either group).

     

  2. Change tillage practices

    A randomized, replicated experiment in 2004 on a fine sandy-loam soil in North Carolina, USA (Overstreet et al. 2010) found nematode numbers were 48% higher and earthworm numbers were 31 times higher under strip tillage compared to conventional tillage. Nematode numbers were more than four times higher in organic strip tillage plots compared to conventional tillage plots receiving synthetic chemicals. Nematode and earthworm numbers were up to four times and 30 times higher respectively in plots where strip tillage and organic inputs were combined. There were four treatments: strip tillage with organic inputs (soybean Glycine max meal fertilizer and pesticide), strip tillage with synthetic inputs (ammonium nitrate at 200 kg/ha), conventional tillage with organic inputs and conventional tillage with synthetic inputs. There were four replications. The study took nematode samples and earthworm extractions (species not specified for either group).

     

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 18

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.


Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust