Despite the environmental importance of Collembola, basic information on the ecology of these soil microarthropods is lacking, especially in Neotropical and agricultural environments. To address such gaps in information this research was conducted to investigate seasonal variations in collembolan abundance in agricultural soils of Espírito Santo, Brazil. Research field sites are located in Domingos Martins municipality, Espírito Santo (20o23´S, 41o03´W) and consist of three sites: A, Fertilizer site, with two fertilizer treatments, organic fertilizer and inorganic fertilizer; B, Tillage site, with two tillage treatments, no-tillage and conventional tillage; and C, Mulch site, with two mulch treatments, mulch and no mulch. Experimental plots have received similar treatments since the sites were established (1991, 1992) and a variety of crops are grown on the sites annually. From December 1999 through November 2000, soil core samples (4.8 cm diameter) were taken randomly from the surface 10 cm of each plot at intervals of approximately two months. Tullgren funnels were used to extract Collembola from the soil samples and the Collembola collected were identified and quantified. Averaged across sites and treatments, total collembolan density was greater in September than in December. However, based on the time of peak abundance, two distinct groups of Collembola species were present. One group of Collembola species was apparently limited by summer conditions and tended to develop peak populations only during winter. The second group of Collembola species developed peak populations throughout the year.
Keywords: Collembola, Brazil
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