A comparative assessment of soil arthropod abundance and diversity in practical farmlands of University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

Abstract

The study comparatively assessed the impacts of farm activities on the abundance and diversity of soil arthropods and soil physico-chemical parameters of the Practical Year Training Programme (PYTP) farmlands, University of Ibadan, South Western Nigeria. Soil arthropods were collected from September, 2010 to February, 2011 in five sampling sites of PYTP farmlands using Berlese Tullgren Extraction method. Soil physico-chemical parameters were determined by standard procedures. A total of 19 orders of soil arthropods were obtained. Acari and Collembola account for the most abundant order while the Neuropterans were the least in abundance. Site 1 and 4 (control) recorded the highest diversity (Shannon Wiener index) values of 1.88 and 1.96 respectively while site 5 recorded the highest equitability value. The ANOVA result showed no significant difference in the values of the different parameters across the sites (P > 0.05). Chi-square test showed a significant association between the number of soil arthropods and the parameters of the five sampling sites. Pearson’s correlation coefficient (r) revealed a positive significant relationship between soil moisture content and the Collembolans and a negative significant relationship with Coleoptera. This study revealed a reduction in the abundance and diversity of soil arthropods in the PYTP farmlands due to consistent agricultural activities that impact the environment. Sustainable farming practices should be adopted so as to ameliorate the impact of cultivation practices on soil organisms and restore the integrity of the soil ecosystem.
Key words: Abundance, Diversity, Soil arthropods, Physico-chemical parameters, PYTP farmlands.

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