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Effect of Application of Vermicompost and Conventional Compost Derived from Different Residues on Pea Crop Production and Soil Faunal Diversity in Agricultural System in Garhwal Himalayas India

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DOI: 10.4236/ns.2014.66042    4,453 Downloads   6,235 Views   Citations


Sedentary crop-livestock mixed farming is the predominant agricultural land use in Central Himalaya upland and largely rainfed; agrochemicals are not used at all. Farmers focus on increasing yields with poor soil fertility management practices resulted in sharp decline in production of pea crop in the study site. Therefore in present study options are being looked into devising some conservation strategies that increase yields of pea while reducing harm to soil biodiversity at a local scale here. The present study explores the efficiency of P. excavatus as endemic earthworm species for vermicomposting, the potential utilization of Conventional oak based farmyard manure (FM-O); Conventional pine based farmyard manure(FM-P); Earthworm fed ? Cow dung + oak leaves based vermicompost (VC-O); Earthworm fed ? Cow dung + pine leaves based vermicompost (VC-P); freshly fallen leaf litter (LM) on pea crop productivity and soil faunal diversity in agricultural system, and if the changed soil faunal biodiversity scenario in any way affected the crop production. The higher uptake of nitrogen, higher germination percentage enhanced seedling growth, early emergence flower, increase number of pods, seed, husk , and root biomass was significantly higher in plants which received VC-O followed by VC-P as manure input treatments. The change in the diversity of soil micro arthropods in relation to quality change in organic residues input in experimental plots and expressed as the Simpsons diversity index showed that the diversity of soil fauna is related to improvements in soil conditions resulting from nutrient manipulations through vermicompost and conventional compost treatments. This response of soil biota to increased production most likely represents an increase in the availability of resources through addition of vermicompost when compared to other compost treatments. Alternatively, an increase in predators and therefore predation, could, increase the diversity of its prey, thereby decreasing dominant competitors and reducing the possibility of competitive exclusion, but this needs further studies. Chronosequence study during cropping season indicated that the composition and abundance of soil fauna in agricultural fields changed considerably with time under cultivation. This technology has now been adopted by the farmers in the area once again for growing the pea crop.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Bhadauria, T. , Kumar, P. , Maikhuri, R. and Saxena, K. (2014) Effect of Application of Vermicompost and Conventional Compost Derived from Different Residues on Pea Crop Production and Soil Faunal Diversity in Agricultural System in Garhwal Himalayas India. Natural Science, 6, 433-446. doi: 10.4236/ns.2014.66042.


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