Effects of Cover Plants on Soil Biota: A Study in an Apple Orchard

사과원에서 피복식물이 토양생물상에 미치는 영향

  • Eo, Jin-U (National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science, Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Kang, Seok-Beom (National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science, Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Park, Kee-Choon (National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science, Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Han, Kyoung-Suk (National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science, Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Yi, Young-Keun (School of Bioresource Science, Andong National University)
  • 어진우 (농촌진흥청 국립원예특작과학원) ;
  • 강석범 (농촌진흥청 국립원예특작과학원) ;
  • 박기춘 (농촌진흥청 국립원예특작과학원) ;
  • 한경숙 (농촌진흥청 국립원예특작과학원) ;
  • 이영근 (안동대학교 식물의학과)
  • Received : 2010.09.01
  • Accepted : 2010.09.20
  • Published : 2010.09.30


We aimed to investigate the responses of soil organisms to cover plants and to provide information for the selection of proper plant species. We studied the effects of 7 cover plants, including rye, oat, rattail fescue, Chinese milk vetch, red clover, crimson clover, and hairy vetch, on soil organisms in an apple orchard. An increase in the microbial phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) and in the number of nematodes and microarthropods in the soil under the cover plants reflects elevated activities of soil organisms. A decrease in the level of some marker PLFA, which is an indicator of environmental stress, suggests that cover plants provide favorable environments for soil organisms. The population of fungi and animals that feed on fungi increased in the soil surface under red clover. The population density of nematodes and mites increased in the soil surface under rattail fescue, and that of mites and omnivorous nematodes increased in the soil surface under Chinese milk vetch. The level of microbial PLFA in the soil surfaces under the tested cover plants was higher than that under clean culture system. These results suggest that proper selection of the cover plants can facilitate the creation of favorable environments for soil organisms.


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