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Article

Effects of Detritivores on Nutrient Dynamics and Corn Biomass in Mesocosms

1
Department of Biological Sciences, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403, USA
2
School of Earth, Environment & Society, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2019, 10(12), 453; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10120453
Received: 31 October 2019 / Revised: 27 November 2019 / Accepted: 5 December 2019 / Published: 13 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Elucidating the Role of Soil Arthropods in Soil Health)
(1) Background: Strategies aimed at managing freshwater eutrophication should be based on practices that consider cropland invertebrates, climatic change, and soil nutrient cycling. Specifically, detritivores play a crucial role in the biogeochemical processes of soil through their consumptive and burrowing activities. Here, we evaluated the effectiveness of increasing detritivore abundance as a strategy for nutrient management under varied rainfall. (2) Methods: We manipulated soil macroinvertebrate abundance and rainfall amount in an agricultural mesocosms. We then measured the phosphorus, nitrogen, and carbon levels within the soil, corn, invertebrates, and soil solution. (3) Results: Increasing detritivore abundance in our soil significantly increased corn biomass by 2.49 g (p < 0.001), reduced weed growth by 18.2% (p < 0.001), and decreased soil solution nitrogen and total organic carbon (p < 0.05) and volume by 31.03 mL (p < 0.001). Detritivore abundance also displayed a significant interaction effect with rainfall treatment to influence soil total P (p = 0.0019), total N (p < 0.001), and total C (p = 0.0146). (4) Conclusions: Soil detritivores play an important role in soil nutrient cycling and soil health. Incorporating soil macroinvertebrate abundance into management strategies for agricultural soil may increase soil health of agroecosystems, preserve freshwater ecosystems, and protect the valuable services they both provide for humans. View Full-Text
Keywords: nutrient; macroinvertebrate; eutrophication; phosphorus; nitrogen; carbon; mesocosm; soil health; detritivore; rainfall nutrient; macroinvertebrate; eutrophication; phosphorus; nitrogen; carbon; mesocosm; soil health; detritivore; rainfall
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lindsey-Robbins, J.; Vázquez-Ortega, A.; McCluney, K.; Pelini, S. Effects of Detritivores on Nutrient Dynamics and Corn Biomass in Mesocosms. Insects 2019, 10, 453. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10120453

AMA Style

Lindsey-Robbins J, Vázquez-Ortega A, McCluney K, Pelini S. Effects of Detritivores on Nutrient Dynamics and Corn Biomass in Mesocosms. Insects. 2019; 10(12):453. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10120453

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lindsey-Robbins, Josephine, Angélica Vázquez-Ortega, Kevin McCluney, and Shannon Pelini. 2019. "Effects of Detritivores on Nutrient Dynamics and Corn Biomass in Mesocosms" Insects 10, no. 12: 453. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10120453

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