Decomposition driven by invertebrates in tropical rice ecosystems: impacts of management strategies

My thesis provides insights into the composition of aquatic and soil-dwelling animal assemblages in flooded paddy fields and their potential role in nutrient cycling processes. Decomposition is an essential ecosystem service which provides natural supply of nutrients for plant growth and decreases t...

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1. Verfasser: Schmidt, Anja
Beteiligte: Brandl, Roland (Prof. Dr.) (BetreuerIn (Doktorarbeit))
Format: Dissertation
Sprache:Englisch
Veröffentlicht: Philipps-Universität Marburg 2015
Biologie
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Zusammenfassung:My thesis provides insights into the composition of aquatic and soil-dwelling animal assemblages in flooded paddy fields and their potential role in nutrient cycling processes. Decomposition is an essential ecosystem service which provides natural supply of nutrients for plant growth and decreases the need for applying artificial fertilizers. In flooded rice ecosystems invertebrates are of particular importance for an efficient decay of organic matter as microbial decomposition is considerably decelerated under anaerobic conditions. The experiments presented in this thesis substantiate the value of invertebrate detritivores for an effective breakdown of crop residues and therefore, for a sufficient nutrient availability in paddy soils. Further, my experiments revealed that the role of invertebrates in decomposition processes has to be seen in the context of field management. Thus, the development of sustainable management practices in rice agro-ecosystems should also be based on the knowledge about the mediating effects of different cultivation methods on decomposition as an ecologically and economically relevant ecosystem function. Continued efforts to reveal the link between the assemblage of animals in rice fields and their role in decomposition processes are crucial to extend our understanding of the mechanisms behind nutrient utilization promoted by rice straw decomposition. Exploiting the full fertilization potential of rice straw residuals will help to establish sustainable methods for productive rice agriculture.
DOI:https://doi.org/10.17192/z2015.0477