FLORA AND FAUNA ISSN 2456-9364(Online) 0971-6920(Print)
         
2022 Vol.28 No.2 PP 273-283
https://doi.org/10.33451/florafauna.v28i2pp273-283
Ecological assessment of soil mite communities in diverse fodder production systems of semi–arid central India
*Sharmila Roy1Ruquaeya Bano2and A K Srivastav3
1ICAR-Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research,
LUCKNOW-226 002 (UP) INDIA
2Zoological Survey of India,
JODHPUR-342 003 (RAJ) INDIA
3Bipin Bihari College,
JHANSI-284001 (UP) INDIA
*Corresponding Author : E-mail: roysharmilaigfri@gmail.com
ABSTRACT
The agrarian community of North West region of Bundelkhand in Central India is mainly dependent on livestock rearing and related activities. In order to support the livestock-based economy of the area, a number of fodder and pasture development schemes are promoted by government of India. The hypothesis is that various such systems due to change in land management and vegetation pattern; may affect soil structure and native soil biota. This study presents ecological assessment of soil mite communities in selected fodder production systems in this geographical region. Mites, the most diversified among soil biota are considered effective bio-indicators of soil conditions. So, in this study, their community structure, seasonal abundance were closely monitored and analyzed in different fodder-based land utilization schemes viz., natural grasslands, cultivated pastures (Cenchrus ciliaris + Stylosanthes hamata), pure tree stands of Albizia amara, silvipstures (tree + grass) and fodder crop cultivation. Mites were represented by 44 families under 4 suborders. Most dominant groups (families) observed were Tarsenomidae,Caligonellidae, Gamasellus,Dermanyssoidea, Scheloribetidae, Epilohmanniidae, Oppiidae, Galumnidae, Perlohmanniidae, Orobatulidae and Hydrozetidae. Peak population buildup was recorded in the month of August. Diversity was low in annual fodder cultivation system and bare land situations. Perennial fodder production systems namely, open tree stand of Albizia amara, natural grassland, improved pastures and silvipasture systems supported higher diversity of mite fauna. Greater soil mite diversity in such carefully designed perennial systems indicate that such systems might ecologically sound and would achieve long term fodder sustainability for the region.

KEY WORDS : Albizia amara, Cenchrus ciliaris, Intensive fodder production system, Silvipasture, Stylosanthus hamata
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