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Acta zoológica mexicana

versão On-line ISSN 2448-8445versão impressa ISSN 0065-1737


JUAREZ-RAMON, Dionicio  e  FRAGOSO, Carlos. Earthworm communities in intercropping systems, from two regions of central Mexico. Acta Zool. Mex [online]. 2014, vol.30, n.3, pp.637-654. ISSN 2448-8445.

The study of earthworm communities in an intercropping system (MIAF) was carried out in the central and southern states of Puebla and Oaxaca, Mexico. The aim was to know the species present in MIAF systems, to identify differences between a control nearby forest and MIAF's, as well as differences within MIAF's between arboreal and crop rows. The study evaluated the abundance, biomass and diversity of epigeic and endogeic species. In Puebla four species were found in MIAF's (one epigeic and three endogeics), while in Oaxaca there were five species (two epigeics and three endogeics). In Puebla, 64% of the worms were concentrated in the forest, being Lumbricus rubellus Hoffmeister, 1843 and Aporrectodea trapezoides (Dugés, 1828), the dominant species; in Oaxaca, 79% of the individuals were found in MIAF's, being Octolasion tyrtaeum (Savigny, 1826), Amynthas sp., and Pontoscolex corethrurus (Müller, 1857) the dominant species. Differences in species abundance and biomass may be related to soil moisture, agricultural intensification and the anthropogenic management of organic materials (crop residues and manure). Our results indicated that earthworms found in tree rows were not more abundant and diverse than those of annual crop rows; this pattern being more evident in Puebla. Neither in Puebla nor in Oaxaca, the biomass of worms reached 30 g m-2, a value where earthworms impact the fertility of soils. Thus it is suggested to improve management techniques within MIAF's in order to increase the abundance of large worms.

Palavras-chave : Earthworms; peach; MIAF; Alley cropping; drought.

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