Functional diversity of edaphic microarthropods for snapshot soil quality assessment in Barbera vineyards


Abstract: Biomonitoring of soil allows to rank soils and to highlight the effects of crop management on the communities of organisms. The lack and/or reduction of these organisms can indicate a shortcoming in soil functionality. The development of efficient biological indices for assessing the environmental quality in soils is a priority target. In biodiversity assessment, the structure of Functional Feeding Groups (FFGs) could be integrated to measure the impact of different agronomic practices across arthropod communities differing in taxonomic composition. The aim of this study was to evaluate how different management methods – conventional, IPM, organic, biodynamic – impact the community of soil microarthropods. In the areas Costigliole d’Asti and Langhe of Alba in North-Western Italy, eleven vineyards with La Barbera, Nebbiolo and ancient local varieties were selected and sampled in different seasons from 2011 to 2013. All specimens of arthropods were identified based on taxonomy of edaphic groups and their feeding functional profiles. The soil quality was defined by selected ecological indices (BSQar, taxa richness, Shannon, Simpson) and functional diversity. Biodynamic management practices were positively associated with total abundance of arthropods, BSQar and functional community structure.

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