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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 105 No. 6, p. 1780-1786
    Received: Mar 12, 2013
    Published: October 4, 2013

    * Corresponding author(s): manetti.pablo@inta.gob.ar
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Macrofauna Activity Density in Contrasting Tillage Systems in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina

  1. Pablo L. Manetti *a,
  2. Ariel J. Faberia,
  3. Natalia L. Clementea and
  4. Alicia N. Lópeza
  1. a Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Univ. Nacional de Mar del Plata–Estación Experimental Agropecuaria, Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA) (UIB), C.C. 276 (7620), Balcarce, Argentina


In Argentina, two tillage systems are used, conventional tillage (CT) and no-till (NT). The aim was to determine the ground-dwelling macrofauna taxa and compare the impacts of both NT and CT on their activity density. Samples were taken within wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) (August–December) and maize (Zea mays L.) (November–April) crop fields under CT and NT during three cropping seasons (Cycles 1, 2, and 3). Ten pitfall traps 10 m apart were placed in each field. Traps were collected every 15 d throughout the crop cycles to determine activity density (individuals plot–1) of soil macrofauna. Invertebrates were counted and identified to the class level; Insecta were further identified to order, family, or species levels. Higher mean total macrofauna activity density was found under NT than CT for Cycle 1 in wheat and Cycles 1 and 3 in maize. Arachnida activity density was higher under NT than CT in only a few crop cycles. Carabidae showed no preference for any tillage system. Orthoptera showed more activity density under NT than CT. The activity density of the Lepidoptera and Hymenoptera specimens were higher under CT than NT in some wheat and maize seasons. Diplopoda and Crustacea had higher activity density under NT than CT. In conclusion, the total activity density was consistently greater under NT, but there were differences within taxonomic groups.

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