Shifts in soil faunal community structure in shaded cacao agroforests and consequences for ecosystem function in Central Africa

Lindsey Norgrove, C. Csuzdi, F. Forzi, M. Canet, J. Gounes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We assessed the effects of fungicide application on soil fauna in shaded Theobroma cacao agro-forests in Cameroon and compared this with forest. Fewer termite species were found in cacao (19) than in forest (29). Species absent in cacao included specialist soil-feeders (Apilitermes, Crenetermes, Cubitermes) and specialist wood-feeders (Microcerotermes, Nasutitermes). Conversely, more generalist soil-wood-interface-feeders (Termes, Amalotermes) were more frequent in cacao. Mean earthworm densities were 80 m-2 in the forest and 81 m-2 in the unsprayed cacao, significantly higher than in either low or high sprayed cacao treatments (52 m-2 and 57 m-2 respectively). The dominant forest epigeic, Eminoscolex lamani was absent in cacao. Rosadrilus camerunensis, the sole anecic and dominant cast producer had reduced population in cacao and was absent in the high fungicide treatment. The role of this species in ecosystem functioning is highlighted and methods to maintain population, including improving litter quality and reducing soil contamination discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-78
Number of pages8
JournalTropical Ecology
Volume50
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009

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Central Africa
ecosystem function
community structure
ecosystems
soil
fungicide
Cubitermes
Microcerotermes
Nasutitermes
Theobroma cacao
soil fauna
termite
soil pollution
Cameroon
earthworms
Isoptera
earthworm
generalist
pesticide application
fungicides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

Cite this

Shifts in soil faunal community structure in shaded cacao agroforests and consequences for ecosystem function in Central Africa. / Norgrove, Lindsey; Csuzdi, C.; Forzi, F.; Canet, M.; Gounes, J.

In: Tropical Ecology, Vol. 50, No. 1, 06.2009, p. 71-78.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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