ía Mesoamericana ISSN electrónico: 2215-3608

Effect of two organic fertilizers on food webs of soil cultivated with blackberry

Martha Orozco Aceves, José Alonso Calvo Araya, Jean Alexander Gamboa Tabares, Wálter Peraza Padilla, Orlando Varela Rodríguez, Rafael Orozco Rodríguez



Soil fertilization with organic fertilizers comprises a practice that improves the soil biological properties; however, the effect of these on the soil food web (SFW) has been scarcely studied. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of two commercial organic fertilizers on the structure of the SFW associated with roots of blackberry plants (Rubus adenotrichos). The research was conducted in two blackberry plantations located one in San Martín de León Cortés, and the other one in Buena Vista de Pérez Zeledón in San José, Costa Rica, from August to December, 2010. In the two plantations, plants were fertilized with compost or vermicompost. The roots of blackberry plants surrounding soil were sampled in order to quantify groups of the SFW through the following techniques: bacteria and filamentous fungi by plate count, protozoa by the most probable number, spores from arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and nematodes by flotation-centrifugation, microarthropods, macroarthropods, and worms were directly counted in soil samples. The dataset was analyzed by multidimensional scaling analysis. The addition of organic fertilizers to soil caused a differential effect on the structure of the SFW (as compared with non-fertilized soils). The effect differed in soil from each of the experimental plantations according to fertilizer type. The groups of organisms mainly affected were actinomycetes and protozoa, which implies that the structure of SFW and consequently, the function of soil were not affected by the addition of organic fertilizers.


organic agriculture; soil biology; compost; vermicompost; Rubus adenotrichos.


Alef, K. 1995. Enrichment, isolation and counting of soil microorganisms. In: K. Alef, and P. Nannipieri, editors, Methods in applied soil microbiology and biochemistry. Academic Press, London, GBR. p. 123-191.

Altieri, M.A. 1999. The ecological role of biodiversity in agroecosystems. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 74:19-31.

Bagyaraj, J.D., and S.L. Stürmer. 2008. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. In: M.S. Moreira et al., editors, A handbook of tropical soil biology. Earthscan, London, GBR. p. 131-144.

Bignell, D.E., R. Constantino, A.K. Csuzdi, S.Konaté, J. Louzada, F.X. Susilo, J.E. Tondoh, and R. Zanetti. 2008. Macrofauna. In: M.S. Moreira et al., editors, A handbook of tropical soil biology. Earthscan, London, GBR. p. 43-76.

Cares, J.E., and S.P. Huang. 2008. Soil nematodes. In: M.S. Moreira et al., editors, A handbook of tropical soil biology. Earthscan, London, GBR. p. 97-105.

Clarke, K.R., and R.N. Gorley. 2006. PRIMER v6 User manual/tutorial. PRIMER-E Ltd, GBR.

Coleman, D.A., D.A. Crossley, and P.F. Hendrix. 2004. Fundamentals of soil ecology. 2nd ed. Elsevier Academic Press, Amsterdam, HOL.

Condron, L., C. Stark, M. O’Callaghan, P. Clinton, and Z. Huang. 2010. The role of microbial communities in the formation and decomposition of soil organic matter. In: G.R. Dixon, and E.L. Tilston, editors, Soil microbiology and sustainable crop production. Springer, USA. p. 81-118.

De-Vries, F.T., E. Thébault, M. Liiri, K. Birkhofer, M.A. Tsiafouli, L. Bjørnlund, J.H. Bracht, M.V. Brady, S. Christensen, P.C. de-Ruiter, T. d’Hertefeldt, J. Frouz, K. Hedlund, L. Hemerikc, H.W.H. Gera, S. Hotes, S.R. Mortimer, H. Setälä, S.P. Sgardelis, K. Uteseny, W.H. van-der-Putten, V. Wolters, and R.D. Bardgett. 2013. Soil food web properties explain ecosystem services across European land use systems. PNAS 110:14296-14301.

Giri, B., P.H. Giang, R. Kumari, R. Prasad, and A. Varma. 2005. Microbial diversity in soils. In: F. Buscot, y A. Varma, editors, Microorganisms in soils: Roles in genesis and functions. Springer-Verlag, Berlin. GER. p. 19-55.

Gliessman, S.R. 2002. Agroecología: procesos ecológicos en agricultura sostenible. CATIE, CRC.

Huising, E.J., R. Coe, J.E. Cares, J.N. Louzada, R. Zanetti, M.S. Moreira, F.X. Susilo, S. Konaté, M. van-Noordwik, and S.P. Huang. 2008. Sampling strategy and design to evaluate below-ground biodiversity. In: M.S. Moreira et al., editors, A handbook of tropical soil biology. Earthscan, London, GBR. p. 17-41.

Kallenbach, C., and A.S. Grandy. 2011. Controls over soil microbial biomass responses to carbon amendments in agricultural systems: A meta-analysis. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 144:241-252.

Karyanto, A., C. Rahmadi, E. Franklin, F.X. Susilo, and J. Wellington-de-Morais. 2008. Soil collembola, acari and other mesofauna – The Berlesse method. In: M.S. Moreira et al., editors, A handbook of tropical soil biology. Earthscan, London. GBR. p. 85-94.

Kramer, S., S. Marhan, H. Haslwimmer, L. Ruess, and E. Kandeler. 2013. Temporal variation in surface and subsoil abundance and function of the soil microbial community in an arable soil. Soil Biol. Biochem. 61:76-85.

Lavelle, P., and A.V. Spain. 2003. Soil ecology. Kluwer Academic Publishers, USA.

Liu, M., F. Hu, X. Chen, Q. Huang, J. Jiao, B. Zhang, and H. Li. 2009. Organic amendments with reduced chemical fertilizer promote soil microbial development and nutrient availability in a subtropical paddy field: The influence of quantity, type and application time of organic amendments. Appl. Soil Ecol. 42:166-175.

Meléndez, G. 2003. Abonos orgánicos: principios, aplicaciones e impacto en la agricultura. UCR, CIA, y CATIE, San José, CRC.

Moore, J.C. 1994. Impact of agricultural practices on soil food web structure: Theory and application. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 51:239-247.

Moore, J.C., and H.W. Hunt. 1988. Resource compartmentation and the stability of real food webs. Nature 333:261-263.

Noble, A.D., and S. Ruaysoongnern. 2010. The nature of sustainable agriculture In: G.R. Dixon, and E.L.Tilston, editors, Soil microbiology and sustainable crop production. Springer, USA. p. 1-25.

Orozco, R., y J. Rosales. 2009. Informe de proyecto sobre uso de abonos orgánicos en el cultivo de la mora. Universidad Nacional, CRC.

Orozco, R., y R. Muñoz. 2012. Efecto de abonos orgánicos en las propiedades químicas del suelo y el rendimiento de la mora (Rubus adenotrichus) en dos zonas agroecológicas de Costa Rica. Tecnología en Marcha 25:16-31.

Ortiz, M. 2004. Atlas de Costa Rica [CD]. Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica, Cartago, CRC.

Reilly, K., E. Cullen, T. Lola-Luz, D. Stone, J. Valverde, M. Gaffney, N. Brunton, J. Grant, and B.S. Griffiths. 2013. Effect of organic, conventional and mixed cultivation practices on soil microbial community structure and nematode abundance in a cultivated onion crop. J. Sci. Food Agric. 93:3700-3709.

Roveda, G., M. Ramírez, y L. Cabra. 2008. Potencial de microorganismos como biofertilizantes. En: G. Roveda et al., editores, Uso de microorganismos con potencial como biofertilizantes en el cultivo de mora. Corporación Colombiana de Investigación Agropecuaria, COL. p. 44-51.

Scheu, S., L. Ruess, and M. Bonkowski. 2005. Interactions between microorganisms and soil micro- and mesofauna. In: F. Buscot, and A. Varma, editors, Microorganisms in soils: roles in genesis and functions. Springer, GER. p. 253-278.

Singh, B., and Z. Rengel. 2007. The role of crop residues in improving soil fertility. In: P. Marschner, and Z. Rengel, editors, Nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, GER. p.183-206.

Smeding, F.W., and G.R. de-Snoo. 2003. A concept of food-web structure in organic arable farming systems. Landsc. Urban Plan. 65:219-236.

Soil Taxonomy. 1999. A basic system of soil classification for making and interpreting soil surveys. United States Department of Agriculture, USA.

Soto, G. 2003. Abonos orgánicos: definiciones y procesos. En: G. Meléndez et al., editores, Abonos orgánicos: principios, características e impacto en la agricultura. CATIE, UCR y CRC. p. 20-49.

Steel, H., B. Vandecasteele, K. Willekens, K. Sabbe, T. Moens, and W. Bert. 2012. Nematode communities and macronutrients in composts and compost-amended soils as affected by feedstock composition. Appl. Soil Ecol. 61:100-112.

Tilston, E.L., T. Sizmur, G.R. Dixon, W. Otten, and J.A. Harris. 2010. The impact of land-use practices on soil microbes In: G.R. Dixon, and E.L. Tilston, editors, Soil microbiology and sustainable crop production. Springer, USA. p. 273-295.

van-der-Heijden, G.A., and C. Wagg. 2013. Soil microbial diversity and agro-ecosystem functioning. Plant Soil 363:1-5.

Wardle, D.A. 1999. How soil food webs make plants grow. Trends Ecol. Evol. 14:418-420.

Wu, Y., Y. Li, C. Zheng, Y. Zhang, and Z. Sun. 2013. Organic amendment application influences soil organism abundance in saline alkali soil. Eur. J. Soil Biol. 54:32-40.

Yeates, G.W., T. Bongers, R.G.M. de-Goede, D.W. Freckman, and S.S. Georgieva. 1993. Feeding habits in soil nematode families and genera – An outline for soil ecologists. J. Nematol. 25:315-331.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

© 2017 Universidad de Costa Rica. Para ver más detalles sobre la distribución de los artículos en este sitio visite el aviso legal. Este sitio es desarrollado por UCRIndex y Open Journal Systems. ¿Desea cosechar nuestros metadatos? dirección OAI-PMH: