AgResearch is the host of the NZAGRC and is New Zealand's largest centre for pastoral agriculture research and development.
AgResearch includes teams of researchers with skills relevant to the Centre in rumen function, rumen microbiology, ruminant physiology, soil science, environmental science, agricultural systems management, forage plant growth and development, on-farm practice change, social science, technology uptake, genomics, proteomics and metabolomics of animals, plants and microorganisms.
Establishment of Aporrectodea longa and measurement of dung carbon incorporation in soils under permanent pasture
Schon, N. L., A. D. Mackay, et al. (2016). "Establishment of Aporrectodea longa and measurement of dung carbon incorporation in soils under permanent pasture." European Journal of Soil Biology 75: 174-179.
Earthworm populations often have a large biomass in pasture soils and can significantly accelerate the disappearance of organic matter from the soil surface and its accumulation in soil layers. This field study investigated the influence of the anecic earthworm Aporrectodea longa on bulk soil C in permanent pastures two years after their introduction. We used the approach of measuring soil C and 13C after the application of C-enriched dung to paddocks with and without established A. longa populations (∼50 m−2). At three sites with differing soil types, dung incorporation into the soil was limited, suggesting that densities were still too low to influence bulk soil C. In a fourth pasture where A. longa had been present for 23 years, and had reached a density of 190 m−2, more dung-derived C was detected to 300 mm depth in the soil profile compared with the control without A. longa.
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