The effects of irrigation, cultivation and some insecticides on the soil arthropods of an East African dry grassland.

Published online
15 Jul 1968
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Burnett, G. F.

Publication language


Investigations were made of arthropods in a silty, poorly drained, gray soil under dry grassland, irrigated sugar cane, and under natural grassland receiving water seeping from an irrigation canal. 1 Ib/acre dieidrin and 2 Ib/acre aldrin were applied, 27 and seven months before the investigation, to parts of the sugar-cane crop. The total number of arthropods under dry grassland was 14800/m2, 66% of which were acarines, Collembola comprised only 8%. Permanent moisture increased the total to 53, 600/m3, the number of acarines was doubled and Collembola were nine times more abundant than in dry grassland. On cultivated land the soil under the irrigation furrows was almost sterile; elsewhere, arthropod populations were slightly less than under moist grassland, mainly through the absence of ants whose nests had been destroyed. Aldrin and dieldrin had no detectable effect on arthropod populations.

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