International Journal of Agroforestry and Silviculture

International Journal of Agroforestry and Silviculture ISSN 2375-1096 Vol. 8 (7), pp. 001-009, July, 2020. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Soil macrofauna indices and their association with physical soil properties under agroforestry systems

Misheck Musokwa1, 2*, Paramu Mafongoya1, Manqoba Zungu3 and Aleck Kondwakwenda1

1University of KwaZulu-Natal, Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Bag X01, 3209, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

2Institute of Natural Resources,P. O Box 100 396, Scottsville, 3209,Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

3Centre for Functional Biodiversity, School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X01, Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg, 3209.

Received 03 Jun, 2020; Accepted 14 July, 2020; Published 20 July, 2020


Agroforestry technologies such as Sesbania sesban or pigeonpea improved fallows have been promoted to restore degraded biophysical soil properties in Sub-Saharan Africa. The objectives of the study were to evaluate the effect of improved fallows on soil macrofauna species indices, abundance of earthworms and related physical soil properties. A randomized complete block design, replicated three times, was used with five treatments (S.sesban, pigeonpea, S.sesban + Panicum maximum, pigeonpea + P.maximum and P.maximum). Soil macrofauna was sampled using 25 × 25 × 25 cm steel monoliths. Aggregate stability was calculated using mean weight diameter. Soil aggregate stability and infiltration rate were significantly different (P<0.05). The highest aggregate stability and infiltration rate were observed in S. sesban as compared to P. maximum.P. maximum + S.sesban (18.89) had the highest soil macrofauna species richness than P. maximum (7.89). Earthworm abundance was highest on S.sesban than other treatments. The highest positive significant correlation was recorded on soil macrofauna species evenness and diversity while the least was observed on aggregate stability and macrofauna species richness. S.sesban or pigeonpea improved fallows is recommended for restoring soil macrofauna and physical soil properties in South Africa.

Keywords: Aggregate stability, agroforestry, improved fallows, pigeonpea, Sesbania sesban, soil macrofauna.