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Soil chemical and biological characteristics influence mineralization processes in different stands of a tropical wetland

Abstract : In the Caribbean, Pterocarpus officinalis swamp forest, a coastal freshwater wetland, has been locally transformed by human activities into Colocasia esculenta monoculture (under the swamp forest) or pasture (where deforestation has occurred). The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of three land uses of this tropical wetland (swamp forest, C. esculenta monoculture and pasture) on soil abiotic and biological features. We hypothesized that increasing the level of ecosystem alteration by agricultural intensification would negatively impact soil chemical characteristics, soil fauna diversity and carbon mineralization. As expected, land use significantly affected soil characteristics and changes followed the increasing intensity of land use. The ‘undisturbed system’, that is swamp forest, was characterized by a large soil organic matter content, a high level of soil moisture, a small phosphorus content and a slightly lower pH. These characteristics were correlated with a small faunal abundance and diversity and slow carbon (C) mineralization. The ‘low disturbance system’, that is C. esculenta monoculture, was the closest to swamp forest characteristics and changes between the both systems principally concerned a very slight decrease in organic matter content and very small increase in C mineralization and Coleoptera diversity. By contrast, all parameters (soil chemical characteristics, C mineralization and faunal abundance and diversity) were impacted in the most intensive land-use, pasture. Our study confirmed that agricultural practices have an influence on soil fauna and C mineralization processes in wetlands. Moreover, our study suggested that a C. esculenta traditional agroecosystem under swamp forest cover could be considered as an ‘eco-friendly’ agricultural practice.
Keywords : flooded pasture
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Contributor : Jean Vaillant Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, July 14, 2017 - 5:47:15 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, February 4, 2021 - 4:04:05 PM

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Isabelle Boulogne, Harry Ozier-Lafontaine, Patrick Merciris, Jean Vaillant, Lunie Labonte, et al.. Soil chemical and biological characteristics influence mineralization processes in different stands of a tropical wetland. Soil Use and Management, Wiley, 2016, 32 (3), pp.269-278. ⟨10.1111/sum.12273⟩. ⟨hal-01562423⟩



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