Effects of Agricultural Cropping Systems on Soil Microbial Community Structure

Microorganisms of the Bacteria (no nucleus), Eucaryotes (nucleus), and Archae (an ancient anaerobic group) were sampled using molecular techniques so that unculturable microorganisms could also be assessed. The general structure of the microbial community changed with cropping system (CS3, CS5, CS6) at Arlington in one soil sampling time in 1996. The Eukaryotes dominated in relative […] More »

Relevance of Biodiversity to the Sustainability of Agricultural Systems: 1998 CRIS Report

Sampling of microbes, nematodes and soil insects was conducted in farm-sized plots of various Midwestern agroecosystems. At two locations over three years the following four cropping systems were compared: continuous corn, corn/soybean, corn/soybean/wheat-red clover and rotationally grazed pasture…more Author: Joshua Posner More »

NRI File Glossary, 1998

The NRI data on the biodiversity of soil organisms was collected in 1995, 1996 and 1997. The team developed the following sampling plan: 1) 16 (out of 50) quadrats (0.78 m wide by 3.13 m long) were randomly selected from each of the plots to be monitored; 2) eight times a season in 1995 and […] More »

Soil Invertebrates II: The Diversity of Collembola Associated with Decomposition Bags in 1995 and 1996

Decomposition (litter) bag sampling served as the main focus of our soil arthropod research. The overwhelming numbers of specimens generated from our annual sampling has forced us to streamline our analyses and center on a ubiquitous and ecologically important group of soil arthropods: Collembola or springtails. These small, six-legged arthropods are paramount to the soil […] More »

Analysis of Soil Macroarthropods Associated with Pitfall Traps in the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial, 1995

The health of soil ecosystems is often quantified using biological diversity indices to gain insight into the “stability” of these systems. In general, a greater diversity of soil fauna inhabiting a system help establish healthy soils because the interactions of a richer complex of taxa (e.g. species) contributes to a more stable food web. Macroarthropods […] More »

Residue Decomposition Following Corn in Three Cropping Systems: 1993 Results

To characterize the influence of crop rotation on residue decomposition, a litter bag study was initiated on WICST during 1993.  It has been suggested that enhanced efficiency of lower input systems is due to increased soil biological activity resulting in a more rapid decomposition of residue and improved nutrient retention.  Our hypothesis was that the […] More »

A Survey of Soil Macroarthropods associated with Corn in Alternative Cropping Systems

WICST provides a unique laboratory for examining the ecological ramifications, both short and long term, of different approaches to farming and philosophies of land stewardship.  Much of the ecological ‘action’ will take place in and on the soil, and will be related to the health of the soil as measured in chemical, physical, and biological […] More »