Betsy Zodinpuii Lalnuntluanga H Lalthanzara


Soil organisms are an integral part of agricultural ecosystems and are essential for the maintenance of healthy productive soils. Little is known about soil arthropods assemblages in shifting cultivation system. Therefore, we compared the diversity of soil macroarthropods in shifting cultivation (EXPTL) system and its adjacent natural forest (CTRL) ecosystem in Mizoram, northeast India and assessed the impact of shifting cultivation on the diversity. The study was conducted from 2013 to 2015, and the period was divided as pre-cultivation, cultivation and post-cultivation phases. Traditional shifting cultivation was practised in EXPTL site in the year 2014. Sampling was done by handpicking and digging from a quadrat (25×25×30 cm) located at least 10 m apart at monthly intervals. Specimens were preserved in 4% formalin and were identified up to the lowest possible taxa. A total of 97 taxa of arthropods belonging to five classes were recorded. 88 taxa and 48 taxa were recorded in CTRL and EXPTL respectively. Order-wise Shannon diversity index was significantly higher (p < .001) in CTRL as compared to EXPTL site. There were significant differences in both cultivation (p <.001) and post-cultivation (p <.001) phases between CTRL and EXPTL sites. There was a significant effect of shifting cultivation on the diversity of soil macroarthropods at the p <.05 level for the three cultivation phases in EXPTL site. Therefore, it was concluded that shifting cultivation system negatively affected soil macroarthropod diversity at least for a short duration. This study provided the first baseline data of soil macroarthropod diversity and its interaction with land-use system from Mizoram, northeast India.




Macroarthropod, Mizoram, Natural forest, Shifting cultivation, Soil

Alfred, J. R. B., Darlong, V. T., Hattar, S. J. S. and Paul, D. (1991). Microarthropods and their conservation in some North-East Indian soil. Advances in management and conservation of soil fauna, Oxford and IBH Publishing Company Private Limited, New Delhi, pp 309-319.
Andersen, A. N. and Majer, J. D. (2004). Ants show the way Down Under: invertebrates as bioindicators in land management. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 2(6), 291-298. https://doi.org/10.1890/1540-9295(2004)002[0292:astwdu]2.0.co;2
Anderson, J. M. and Ingram, J. S. I. (1993). Tropical soil biological and fertility: a handbook of methods. https://doi.org/10.1097/00010694-199404000-00012
Arnett, R. H., and Jacques, R. L. (1981). Simon and Schuster's guide to insects. Simon and Schuster.
Ayuke, F., Karanja, N., Muya, E., Kibberenge, M., Mungatu, J. and Nyamasyo, G. (2009). Macrofauna diversity and abundance across different land use systems in Embu, Kenya. Tropical and Subtropical Agroecosystems, 11(2), 371-384.
Barrios, E. (2007). Soil biota, ecosystem services and land productivity. Ecological economics, 64(2), 269-285. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.20 07.03.004
Barrios, E., Cobo, J. G., Rao, I. M., Thomas, R. J., Amézquita, E., Jiménez, J. J. and Rondón, M. A. (2005). Fallow management for soil fertility recovery in tropical Andean agroecosystems in Colombia. Agriculture, ecosystems and environment, 110(1-2), 29-42. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2005.04.009
Barros, E., Pashanasi, B., Constantino, R. and Lavelle, P. (2002). Effects of land-use system on the soil macrofauna in western Brazilian Amazonia. Biology and Fertility of Soils, 35(5), 338-347. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00374-002-0479-z
Bingham, C. T. (1903). The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Hymenoptera, Vol. II. Ants and Cuckoo-wasps. Nature 68(1758), 220-220. https://doi.org/10.1038/068220a0
Black, H. I. J. and Okwakol, M. J. N. (1997). Agricultural intensification, soil biodiversity and agroecosystem function in the tropics: the role of termites. Applied soil ecology, 6(1), 37-53. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0929-1393(96)00153-9
Bogyó, D., Magura, T., Simon, E. and Tóthmérész, B. (2015). Millipede (Diplopoda) assemblages alter drastically by urbanisation. Landscape and Urban Planning, 133, 118-126. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2014.09.014
Borror, D. J., Triplehorn, C. A. and Johnson, N. F. (1992). An introduction to the study of insects.
Brévault, T., Bikay, S., Maldès, J. M. and Naudin, K. (2007). Impact of a no-till with mulch soil management strategy on soil macrofauna communities in a cotton cropping system. Soil and Tillage Research, 97(2), 140-149. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.still.2007.09.006
Brown, G. G., Moreno, A. G. and Lavelle, P. (1996). Soil macrofauna under different Agricultural Systems and native vegetation in four countries of East Africa. Biological Management of Soil Fertility in Small-Scale Farming Systems in Tropical Africa, 2nd Annual report.
Brown, G. G., Pasini, A., Benito, N. P., De Aquino, A. M. and Correia, M. E. F. (2001). Diversity and functional role of soil macrofauna communities in Brazilian no tillage agroecosystems: A preliminary analysis. International Symposium on Managing biodiversity in agricultural ecosystems, Londrina: Embrapa Soja, pp 8-10.
Callaham, M. A., Crossley, D. A. and Coleman, D. C. (2012). Soil Fauna: Macroarthropods. Handbook of Soil Sciences: Properties and Processes (2nd Edition), CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 19-26.
Castner, J. L. (2000). Photographic atlas of entomology and guide to insect identification (No. C/595.7 C3).
Collins, N. M. (1980). The distribution of soil macrofauna on the west ridge of Gunung (Mount) Mulu, Sarawak. Oecologia, 44(2), 263-275. https://doi.org/10.1007/bf0057268
Connell, J. H. (1978). Diversity in tropical rain forests and coral reefs. Science, 199(4335), 1302-1310. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.199.4335.1302
Dangerfield, M. J. (1993). Soil animals and soil fertility: a critical component of woodland productivity.
Darlong, V. T. and Alfred, J. R. B. (1982). Differences in arthropod population structure in soils of forest and Jhum sites of North-East India. Pedobiologia, 23, 112-219.
Dash, M. C. and Patra, U. C. (1977). Density, biomass and energy budget of a tropical earthworm population from a grassland site in Orissa, India. Revue d Ecologie Et de Biologie du Sol, 14(3):461-471.
Dash, M. C. and Senapati, B. K. (1980). Cocoon morphology, hatching and emergence pattern in tropical earthworms. Pedobiologia, 20(5), 316-324.
Decaëns, T., Jiménez, J. J., Gioia, C., Measey, G. J. and Lavelle, P. (2006). The values of soil animals for conservation biology. European Journal of Soil Biology, 42, S23-S38.
Do?ramaci, M. and Tingey, W. M. (2009). Host resistance and influence of tuber surface on larval performance of potato tuberworm (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae). Journal of pest science, 82(2), 109-114.
Downie, I. S., Wilson, W. L., Abernethy, V. J., McCracken, D. I., Foster, G. N., Ribera, I., Murphy K. J. and Waterhouse, A. (1999). The impact of different agricultural land-uses on epigeal spider diversity in Scotland. Journal of insect Conservation, 3(4):273-286.
Edwards, C. A. and Bohlen, P. J. (1996). Biology and ecology of earthworms (Vol. 3). Springer Science and Business Media.
Errouissi, F., Moussa-Machraoui, S. B., Ben-Hammouda, M. and Nouira, S. (2011). Soil invertebrates in durum wheat (Triticum durum L.) cropping system under Mediterranean semi arid conditions: A comparison between conventional and no-tillage management. Soil and Tillage Research, 112(2), 122-132. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.still.2010.12.004
Fonte, S. J., Barrios, E. and Six, J. (2010). Earthworms, soil fertility and aggregate-associated soil organic matter dynamics in the Quesungual agroforestry system. Geoderma, 155(3-4), 320-328. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2009.12.016
Frouz, J. and Ali, A. (2004). Soil macroinvertebrates along a successional gradient in central Florida. The Florida Entomologist, 87(3), 386-390. https://doi.org/10.1653/0015-4040(2004)087[0386:smaasg]2.0.co;2
Gibb, T. J., Oseto, C. Y. and Oseto, C. (2006). Arthropod collection and identification: laboratory and field techniques. Academic press.
Gonçalves, M. F., Pereira, J. A. and Liu, T. X. (2012). Abundance and diversity of soil arthropods in the olive grove ecosystem. Journal of Insect Science, 12(1). https://doi.org/10.1673/031.012.2001
Haddad, N. M., Crutsinger, G. M., Gross, K., Haarstad, J., Knops, J. M. and Tilman, D. (2009). Plant species loss decreases arthropod diversity and shifts trophic structure. Ecology Letters, 12(10), 1029-1039. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2009.01356.x
Hammer, Ø., Harper, D. A. and Ryan, P. D. (2001). PAST: paleontological statistics software package for education and data analysis. Palaeontologia electronica, 4(1), 9.
Hattar, S. J. S. and Alfred, J. R. B. (1984). A population study and community analysis of Collembola in pine forest soils of Meghalaya. NE India-III Oriental Entomology Symposium, pp 203-209.
Hattar, S. J. S., Alfred, J. R. B. and Darlong, V. T. (1998). Animal diversity in some managed and protected forests of North-East India with particular reference to soil fauna. Agro Botanica, 11, 108-118.
Hattar, S. J. S., Alfred, J. R. B. and Darlong, V. T. (1992). Soil acarina and collembola in forest and cultivated land of Khasi Hills, Meghalaya. Record of Zoological Survey of India, 92, 89-97.
Hattar, S. J. S., Darlong, V. T. and Alfred, J. R. B. (2008). Soil fauna diversity and shifting cultivation: an observation from north-east India. Annals of Forest, 16(2), 340-357.
Hawksworth, D. L. (1991). The biodiversity of microorganisms and invertebrates: its role in sustainable agriculture. CAB International.
Heywood, V. H. and Watson, R. T. (1995). Global biodiversity assessment (Vol. 1140). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Holland, J. M. (2004). The environmental consequences of adopting conservation tillage in Europe: reviewing the evidence. Agriculture, ecosystems and environment, 103(1), 1-25.
Hunter, M. D. (2001). Insect population dynamics meets ecosystem ecology: effects of herbivory on soil nutrient dynamics. Agricultural and Forest Entomology, 3(2), 77-84. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1461-9563.2001.00100.x
Imms, A. D. (1912). On some Collembola from India, Burma, and Ceylon; with a Catalogue of the Oriental Species of the Order. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, Oxford, UK, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, pp 80-125.
Jackson, T. A. and Klein, M. G. (2006). Scarabs as pests: a continuing problem. The Coleopterists Bulletin, 60(mo5), 102-119.
Jeanneret, P., Schüpbach, B., Pfiffner, L. and Walter, T. (2003). Arthropod reaction to landscape and habitat features in agricultural landscapes. Landscape ecology, 18(3), 253-263.
Lavelle, P. (1997). Faunal activities and soil processes: adaptive strategies that determine ecosystem function. Advances in ecological research, Academic Press, pp 93-132. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0065-2504(08)60007-0
Liao, C., Li, J., Yang, Y. and Zhang, Z. (2002). The Community of Soil Animal in Tropical Rain Forest in Jianfengling Mountain, Hainan Island, China -Composition and Characteristics of Community. Acta Ecologica Sinica, 22(11), 1866-1872.
Lo-Man-Hung, N. F., Gardner, T. A., Ribeiro-Júnior, M. A., Barlow, J. and Bonaldo, A. B. (2008). The value of primary, secondary, and plantation forests for Neotropical epigeic arachnids. The Journal of Arachnology, 36(2), 394-402.
Lo-Man-Hung, N. F., Marichal, R., Candiani, D. F., Carvalho, L. S., Indicatti, R. P., Bonaldo, A. B., Cobo, D. H., Feijoo, A. M., Tselouiko, S., Praxedes, C. and Brown, G. (2011). Impact of different land management on soil spiders (Arachnida: Araneae) in two Amazonian areas of Brazil and Colombia. The Journal of Arachnology, 39(2), 296-303. https://doi.org/10.1636/cp10-89.1
Manetti, P. L., López, A. N., Clemente, N. L. and Faberi, A. J. (2010). Tillage system does not affect soil macrofauna in southeastern Buenos Aires province, Argentina. Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research, 8(2), 377-384. https://doi.org/10.5424/sjar/2010082-1189
Muchane, M. N., Karanja, D., Wambugu, G. M., Mutahi, J. M., Clet, W., Mugoya, C, and Muchai, M. (2012). Land use practices and their implications on soil macro-fauna in Maasai Mara ecosystem. International Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation, 4(13), 500-514.
Mwansat, G. S., Njila, H. L. and Levi, R. Y. (2012). A Study of Species Diversity and Distribution of Soil Macroarthropod Fauna in Irrigated Vegetable Plots in Jos South Local Government Area, Plateau State, Nigeria.
Nakamura, A., Catterall, C. P., House, A. P., Kitching, R. L. and Burwell, C. J. (2007). The use of ants and other soil and litter arthropods as bio-indicators of the impacts of rainforest clearing and subsequent land use. Journal of Insect Conservation, 11(2), 177-186. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10841-006-9034-9
Nyffeler, M. and Sunderland, K. D. (2003). Composition, abundance and pest control potential of spider communities in agroecosystems: a comparison of European and US studies. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 95(2-3), 579-612. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0167-8809(02)00181-0
Okwakol, M. J. (2000). Changes in termite (Isoptera) communities due to the clearance and cultivation of tropical forest in Uganda. African Journal of Ecology, 38(1), 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2028.2000.00189.x
Okwakol, M. J. N. and Sekamatte, M. B. (2007). Soil macrofauna research in ecosystems in Uganda. African journal of ecology, 45, 2-8. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0141-6707.2007.00800.x
Oxbrough, A. G., Gittings, T., O’Halloran, J., Giller, P. S. and Smith, G. F. (2005). Structural indicators of spider communities across the forest plantation cycle. Forest Ecology and management, 212(1-3), 171-183. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2005.03.040
Paul, D. and Alfred, J. R. B. (1995). Soil arthropod fauna of three agroecosystems as compared to that of undisturbed forests of Meghalaya, NE India. Journal of Soil Biology and Ecology, 15, 52-65.
Perner, J. and Malt, S. (2003). Assessment of changing agricultural land use: response of vegetation, ground-dwelling spiders and beetles to the conversion of arable land into grassland. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 98(1-3), 169-181. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0167-8809(03)00079-3
Pocock, R. I. (1892). XXXVIII.—Liphistius and its bearing upon the classification of spiders. Journal of Natural History, 10(58), 306-314. https://doi.org/10.1080/00222939208677416
Reddy, M. V. and Alfred, J. R. B. (1978). Some observations on the earthworm population and the biomass in a sub-tropical pine forest soil. Soil Biology and Ecology in India, UAS Technical Series, Bangalore, pp 78-82.
Ribeiro Filho, A. A., Adams, C. and Murrieta, R. S. S. (2013). The impacts of shifting cultivation on tropical forest soil: a review. Boletim do Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi. Ciências Humanas, 8(3), 693-727. https://doi.org/10.1590/s1981-81222013000300013
Roper, M. M. and Gupta, V. V. S. R. (1995). Management-practices and soil biota. Soil Research, 33(2), 321-339. https://doi.org/10.1071/sr9950321
Rossi, J. P. and Blanchart, E. (2005). Seasonal and land-use induced variations of soil macrofauna composition in the Western Ghats, southern India. Soil biology and biochemistry, 37(6), 1093-1104. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2004.11.008
Rossi, J. P., Celini, L., Mora, P., Mathieu, J., Lapied, E., Nahmani, J., Ponge, J. F. and Lavelle, P. (2010). Decreasing fallow duration in tropical slash-and-burn agriculture alters soil macroinvertebrate diversity: a case study in southern French Guiana. Agriculture, ecosystems and environment, 135(1-2), 148-154. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2009.08.012
Ruiz, N., Lavelle, P. and Jimenez, J. (2008). Soil macrofauna field manual.Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, Italy. pp 1-113.
Silva, J. F., Farinas, M. R., Felfili, J. M. and Klink, C. A. (2006). Spatial heterogeneity, land use and conservation in the cerrado region of Brazil. Journal of Biogeography, 33(3): 536-548.
Singh, J. (1978). Soil fauna studies in India. In C.A. Edwards and G.K. Veeresh (Eds.), Soil Biology and Ecology in India, University of Agricultural Sciences, Technical Series No. 22, Bangalore. pp. 226-235.
Six, J., Bossuyt, H., Degryze, S. and Denef, K. (2004). A history of research on the link between (micro) aggregates, soil biota, and soil organic matter dynamics. Soil and Tillage Research, 79(1), 7-31. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.still.2004.03.008
Swift, M. J. and Anderson, J. M. (1994). Biodiversity and ecosystem function in agricultural systems. In Biodiversity and ecosystem function, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 15-41. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-58001-7_2
Swift, M. and Bignell, D. (2001). Standard methods for assessment of soil biodiversity and land use practice, Bogor, Indonesia: International Centre for Research in Agroforestry, pp 3-34.
Jordan Tolley, L., Huryn, A. D. and Bogan, A. E. (2015). Effects of land?use change on a diverse pleurocerid snail assemblage. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 25(2), 235-249. https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.2474
Vatsauliya, P. K. (1981). Ecological studies on Jhum fallows of Byrnihat Meghalaya with particular reference to soil fauna.
Vatsauliya, P. K. and Alfred, J. R. B. (1980). Quantitative study of the soil arthropods in Jhum ecosystems of northeast India. Indian Zoologist, 4, 153-160.
Blower J.G. and Wallwork, J. A. (1971). Ecology of soil animals. Journal of Animal Ecology 40(2):541 DOI: 10.2307/3269
Wardle, D. A., Nicholson, K. S., Bonner, K. I., & Yeates, G. W. (1999). Effects of agricultural intensification on soil-associated arthropod population dynamics, community structure, diversity and temporal variability over a seven-year period. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 31(12), 1691-1706. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0038-0717(99)00089-9
Warren, S. D., Scifres, C. J. and Teel, P. D. (1987). Response of grassland arthropods to burning: a review. Agriculture, ecosystems and environment, 19(2): 105-130. https://doi.org/10.1016/0167-8809(87)90012-0
Whitford, W. G. (1992). Effects of climate change on soil biotic communities and soil processes. Global warming and biological diversity, pp 124-136.
Wolters, V. (2000). Invertebrate control of soil organic matter stability. Biology and fertility of Soils, 31(1), 1-19. https://doi.org/10.1007/s003740050618
Wolters, V. and Ekschmitt, K. (1997). Gastropods, isopods, diplopods, and chilopods: neglected groups of the decomposer food web. Fauna in soil ecosystems, CRC Press, pp 279-320.
Research Articles

How to Cite

Diversity of soil macroarthropods in shifting cultivation and forest ecosystem of Mizoram, Northeast India. (2019). Journal of Applied and Natural Science, 11(3), 601-611. https://doi.org/10.31018/jans.v11i3.2122