The Open Agriculture Journal




ISSN: 1874-3315 ― Volume 12, 2018
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Assessment of Soil Quality in Andosols Using Silvopastoral Systems



Hernán R. B. Rosales1, Silvino V. Hernández2, *, Digna I. G. Aguiar2, Diego C. Rosero1, Luis C. Perez1, Marcelo I. Rosero1
1 Universidad Politécnica Estatal del Carchi, Tulcán, Ecuador
2 Universidad Central “Marta Abreu” de Las Villas, Carretera a Camajuaní km 6, Edificio C-1, Apto 110, Santa Clara, Villa Clara, P.O Box. 54830, Cuba

Abstract

Background:

An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of redesign and management upon soil quality variation using three agro-ecosystems: agro-ecosystem A1 (grasses, Alnus acuminata Kunth); agro-ecosystem A2 (grasses, Acacia melanoxylon R. Br.) and agro-ecosystem A3 (Rangeland).

Methods:

The trees were planted along the contour lines in December 2015. The total area was divided into three agro-ecosystems (AES). These consisted of 7.50, 4.64 and 6.25 ha managed with ten to eleven cows in A1, A2 and A3 respectively. The AES were divided into paddocks by means of electric fences. Composite soil samples were evaluated at the baseline and ten months later. Principles of rational grass management were applied with low input sustainable agriculture. The tree population density was 1000 ha-1, planted in double rows, separated two meters apart. The genetic composition of dairy cows was 80 and 20% of Holstein and crossbreed Holstein x Jersey, respectively.

Results:

The effect of interaction between AES x year was not found. The effect of the agro-ecosystems upon the soil quality only showed significant differences (p <0.05) in pH (5.64, 5.68, 5.55); SOM (14.65, 16.11, 16.23); P2O5 (34.67, 19.50, 33.48) and K2O (.16, .19, .12) meq 100 mL-1 to A1, A2 y A3, respectively. On the contrary, the year´s effect showed differences (p <0.05) on chemical variables: NH4 (-83.00 ppm); SOM (-1.91%); P2O5 (-10.79 ppm); K2O (-.04) meq 100 mL-1 and Mg (-.42) meq 100 mL-1, excepted pH (.025) and Ca (1.04) meq 100 mL-1 when it was compared 2015 vs. 2016. It is suggested to continue evaluating the dynamics of soil chemical variables in the subsequent two years to find out the real potential capacity of soil-plant-animal-management interactions to enhance soil quality of Andosols in dairy sector, Carchi province, Ecuador.

Keywords: Andosols, Chemical variables, Silvopastoral systems, Soil quality, Agro-ecosystem, Paddocks.


Article Information


Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2018
Volume: 12
First Page: 207
Last Page: 214
Publisher Id: TOASJ-12-207
DOI: 10.2174/1874331501812010207

Article History:

Received Date: 8/8/2017
Revision Received Date: 24/4/2018
Acceptance Date: 5/9/2018
Electronic publication date: 18/10/2018
Collection year: 2018

Article Metrics:

CrossRef Citations:
0

Total Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 221
Abstract HTML Views: 366
PDF Downloads: 120
ePub Downloads: 70
Total Views/Downloads: 777

Unique Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 150
Abstract HTML Views: 102
PDF Downloads: 98
ePub Downloads: 51
Total Views/Downloads: 401
Geographical View

© 2018 Rosales et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode). This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


* Address correspondence to this author at the Universidad Central “Marta Abreu” de Las Villas, Carretera a Camajuaní km 6, Edificio C-1, Apto 110, Santa Clara, Villa Clara, P.O Box. 54830, Cuba; Tel: 53 58216683; E-mail: vargas@uclv.edu.cu




1. INTRODUCTION

A considerable amount of literature has demonstrated positive impact of agroforestry systems to enhance the AES resources. Nevertheless, these systems have declined in Europe in the last century, while those that maintain traditional systems are being replaced by modern agroforestry practices [1Torralba M, Fagerholm N, Burgess PJ, Moreno G, Plieningerm T. Do European agroforestry systems enhance biodiversity and ecosystem services? A meta-analysis. Agric Ecosyst Environ 2016; 230: 150-61.[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2016.06.002] , 2Nerlich K, Graeff-Hönninger S, Claupein W. Agroforestry in Europe: Review of the disappearance of traditional systems and development of modern Agroforestry practices, with emphasis on experiences in Germany. Agrofor Syst 2013; 87: 475-92.[http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10457-012-9560-2] ].

The combination of trees and crops leads to a better resources management of the agro-ecosystems, such as solar radiation and water. However, neutral and negative interactions were reported in those AES [3Rivest D, Paquette A, Moreno G, Messier C. A meta-analysis reveals mostly neutral influence of scattered trees on pasture yield along with some transplanted effects depending on functional groups and rainfall conditions. Agric Ecosyst Environ 2013; 74: 165-79.[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2012.12.010] ]. The European Union provided an opportunity for national and regional governments to provide financial support for the establishment of new agroforestry systems [4 European Union. Regulation (EU) No. 1307/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 Establishing Rules for Direct Payments to farmers under support schemes within the framework of the Common Agricultural Policy and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No. 637/2008 and Council Regulation (EC) No. 73/2009. http:// eur-lex.europa.eu/ LexUriServ/ LexUriServ.do?uri= OJ:L:2013:347: 0608:0670:EN:PDF. Official Journal of the European Union L 2013; 347: 608-70.]. Moreover, it was discussed in the current study an innovative proposal to ameliorate the environmental degradation, enhance soil fertility and protect water resources in Carchi province, Ecuador [5Franco W. Propuestas para la innovación en los sistemas agro-productivos y el desarrollo. Revista Tierra Infinita 2015; No. 5. (www.upec.edu.ec. UPEC, Tulcán-Ecuador). Universidad Regional Amazónica-IKIAM. https:// www.researchgate.net/ publication/ 295854413.].

Assessment of land degradation in Sub-Saharan Africa was evaluated by the impact of population density on different land use systems with different soil quality, affecting the sustainability and food security in African soils due to intensification processes. Some agro-ecological technologies were discussed about soil fertility management in which woody leguminous trees were used in conservation agriculture [6Craswell ET. Vlek Paul. L. G. Mining of Nutrients in African Soils Due to Agricultural Intensification.Principles of Sustainable Soil Management in Agroecosystems, Advances in Soil Science 2013; 401-21.https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262014160].

Previous studies have pointed out the effects of trees on physical and chemical soil properties, focusing on agricultural systems in Amazonia, while this review was addressed to show the effects of trees on soil physical and chemical properties in tropical, subtropical, and temperate regions, covering both natural ecosystems and agro-ecosystems [7Rachel C Pinho, Rober P. Miller, Sonia S. Alfaia. Agroforestry and the Improvement of soil fertility: A view from the Amazonia.Applied and Environmental Soil Science 2012. Article ID 616383, 11 pages http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/616383.].

There are multiple benefits of the Silvopastoral Systems (SPS) in the region of Latin America by combining different arrangements with improved pastures and trees for the high tropical conditions [8Uribe F, Zuluaga AF, Valencia Murgueitio LE, Zapata A, Solarte L. Establishment and management of silvopastoral systems. Manual 1, Colombian cattle raising project sustainable. GEF, World Bank, FEDEGAN, CIPAV, fund action, TNC. Bogota, Colombia.2011; 78.]. The main advantage is the significant improvement of soils and their effects on the sustainability of systems containing trees [9Judith M, Judith M, Boxes YS, Leon JD, Osorio NW. Silvopastoral systems enhance soil quality in grasslands of colombia. Appl Env Soil Sci 2014; 8 pages. Article ID 359736. doi:10.1155/2014/359736.]. Moreover, SPS are part of traditional farming systems throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, these lead to multiple benefits that contribute to the sustainability of production systems on the basis of the synergistic interactions in crop-livestock integration [10Devendra C. Perspectives on the Potential of Silvopastoral Systems. 3 Agrotechnol 2014; 117[http://dx.doi.org/10.4172/2168-9881.1000117] ].

The variation of some chemical indicators in different land uses and management in Colombia, indicated the highest values of Soil Organic Matter (SOM) in the agro-ecosystem Alder (Alnus acuminata Kunth) - Acacia (Acacia melanoxylon R. Br.) and suggested that this variable is more sensitive to detect the effect of soil management. Thus, Alder is a fixing nitrogen tree through the Actinomycetes which colonizes its roots [11Arteaga J, Navia J, Castle J. Behavior of chemical variables of a soil subjected to different uses, Nariño Department, Colombia. Rev Cienc Agr 2014; 33(2): 62-75.[http://dx.doi.org/10.22267/rcia.163302.53] ]. Similar benefits have Acacia but, its nitrogen fixation is through the bacteria of the genus Rhizobium [12Franco W, Peñafiel M, Cerón C, Freire E. Productive biodiversity and associated in the interandean valley north of the Equator. 28 Bioagro 2016; (3): 181-92.]. An active area of research must be applied as a precondition to adopt any specific form of agroforestry understanding barriers of adoption and developing strategies to overcome these barriers [13Mbow C, Noordwijk MV, Luedeling E, Neufeldt H, Minang PA, Kowero G. Agroforestry solutions to address food security and climate change challenges in Africa. Curr Opin Environ Sustain 2014; 6: 61-7.[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2013.10.014] ].

Most studies in SPS have only been carried out in a small number of areas. Besides, there have been no controlled studies which compare differences in soil quality through the time using a rational grass management with an integrated approach in the province of Carchi. Ecuador. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of redesign and management of SPS systems upon soil quality.

2. MATERIALS AND METHODS

2.1. Location

The study was conducted in the parish “El Carmelo”, Canton Tulcán, Carchi, Ecuador. It is located in the hydrographic area 230, between 0º 41' and 3” N and 77º 36' and 42' W, altitude 2955 m.a.s.l [14 INAMHI (National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology). Directory Weather No. 51-2011. Quito, Ecuador. 2014. http:// www.serviciometeorologico. gob.ec/ wp-content/ uploads/ yearbooks/ weather/ Am%202011.pdf (accessed 24 April 2017).]. The soil is classified as Andosols, which is distinguished by a high content of Fe and Al, melanic horizon andic properties, highly humified organic matter, lower ratio of fulvic/humic acids, blackish [15FAO. World Reference Base for Soil Resources update 2015 International soil classification system for naming soils and creating legends for soil maps. World Soil Resources 2014 Reports No. 106. FAO, Rome.]. The precipitation and temperature (Fig. 1) during 2016 were recorded [16INAMHI (National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology). Meteorological station “Rancheros del Norte - EL CARMELO” Code, M1256 Temperatures and precipitation 2016.].

Fig. (1)
Precipitation and temperature.


2.2. Silvopastoral Systems

The experimental design was a completely randomized design with three AES. Two silvopastoral arrangements were used and a control experiment composed only with grasses. The predominant grasses in all AES were: Kikuyo (Pennisetum clandestinum L.), Ray grass (Lolium perenne L.), Holco (Holcus lanatus L.) and White clover (Trifolium repens L.). The AES consisted of: A1 (grasses and trees of Alder, Alnus acuminata Kunth); A2 (Grasses and acacia trees, Acacia melanoxylon) and A3 (Rangeland).

The trees were planted in December 2015. Double electric fences were established both to make paddocks and protect the young trees from animal damages. The rotation of ten to eleven cows and staying periods in the paddocks were recorded in each AES. The genetic composition of dairy cows was 80 and 20% of Holstein and crossbreed Holstein x Jersey, respectively. Rational grass management in paddocks of 1000 m2 was used. Fencing took into account the contour lines. The tree population density was 1000 ha-1, planted in double rows, separated two meters apart, in A1 and A2. The area was divided into 7.50, 4.64 and 6.25 ha in A1, A2, and A3 respectively.

2.3. Soil Sampling Process and Testing

Field area to sample was geo-referenced with a global positioning system and sampled in the same location in subsequent years, before planting the trees, 2015 (22-11-2015) and 10 months later, 2016 (22-09-2016). An aerial photograph of the AES was shown (Fig. 2). The sampling layout was of six parallel transects. In every AES, six composite samples were collected, each sample contained 20 subsamples, taken across the slope [17Taylor & Francis Group. Soil sampling and methods of analysis. Second Edition. Canadian Society of Soil Science.2008. FL 33487-2742.], separated two meters apart from the tree rows, 20 cm depth. The soil samples were analyzed in the laboratories of the National Institute for Agricultural Research and in the laboratory of soil and water management belonging to “Santa Catalina” Experimental Station both in Ecuador. The chemical variables were determined by the following procedures: soil test pH (water, 1: 2.5); NH4, P2O5, K2O, Ca and Mg [18Díaz-Romeu R, Hunter A. Soil sampling methodology, chemical analysis of soil and plant tissue and research in the greenhouse CATIE, Turrialba, 1978; Costa Rica. 68p.], and soil organic matter [19Walkley A, Black IA. An examination of the Degtjareff method for determining soil organic matter and a proposed modification of the chromic acid titration method. Soil Sci 1934; 37: 29-38.[http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00010694-193401000-00003] ].

Fig. (2)
Aerial photograph of the agro-ecosystems.


2.4. Statistical Analysis

ANOVA tests were used to analyze treatment data, using the following mathematical model, with p value of 0.05. Yijk = μ + Si + Pj + (S, P)ij+ ҽijk

Where: Yijk observation corresponding to the chemical variable k in the agro-ecosystem i and year j; μ: general mean of the population; Si: effect of the i-ésimo agro-ecosystem; Pj: effect of the j-ésimo year; (S, P)ij: effect due to the interaction of the i-ésimo agro-ecosystem with the j-ésimo year and ҽijk: experimental error. The fixed effects were the agro-ecosystem and year using the chemical variables as dependent variables. The effect of interaction between AES x year was not found, then both AES and year as separated effects were analyzed. A paired-samples T- Test was used to analyze the year´s effect [20IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 220 Armonk 2013.].

3. RESULTS

3.1. Soil pH

There were no significant differences (p <0.05) between A1 and A2, these AES showed differences with A3 (Table 1). On the contrary, the year´s effect did not show any difference (Table 2). The pH was classified as moderately acidic in A3, although in A1 and A2, pH was classified as slightly acidic. In general sense, the pH was higher in SPS compared to rangeland and the year´s effect was not strong enough to produce any significant changes in pH.

Table 1
Effect of the agro-ecosystems on the soil quality.


Table 2
Effect of the year on the soil quality.


3.2. Soil NH4

There were no significant differences of (p <0.05) NH4 - N among AES (Table 1), nevertheless it was found a difference (Table 2) between years (-83.00 ppm). In the first and second years, ammonia nitrogen ranged from: 75.83 to 158.83 ppm, which was classified above the optimum range value [17Taylor & Francis Group. Soil sampling and methods of analysis. Second Edition. Canadian Society of Soil Science.2008. FL 33487-2742.]. The high levels of NH4 - N in SPS and rangeland are noteworthy.

3.3. Soil Organic Matter

Differences were not observed (p <0.05) between A2 and A3 (Table 1) whereas SOM had the lowest value in A1. Also, there was a difference (p <0.05) in SOM between years which represents an increment of 13.06% (Table 2). These findings explained that the elapsed time slightly changed the SOM but the AES’s effect could be explained not only as an increment of the SOM but also as its rate of production and biodegradation. All values of the SOM were classified as high [21Molina E, Meléndez G. Tabla de interpretación de análisis de suelos Centro de Investigaciones Agronómicas, Universidad de Costa Rica 2002.].

3.4. Soil Phosphate

Significant differences of (p <0.05) P2O5 among the AES were noticed (Table 1). A2 had the lowest value while A1 and A3 had the highest values of P2O5 but, without differences between them. The mean difference in P2O5 (-10.79 ppm) was shown throughout the time (p <0.05) with 45.29% of increment (Table 2). The differential impact between A1 and A2 could suggest an efficient mechanism to mobilize P to support the phosphorous demand on grassland production, but more time and evidence are needed to explain the differences in available phosphorous in A3 vs. A2. Generally, available P was classified as medium to high values [18Díaz-Romeu R, Hunter A. Soil sampling methodology, chemical analysis of soil and plant tissue and research in the greenhouse CATIE, Turrialba, 1978; Costa Rica. 68p.] in all AES and years.

3.5. Soil Potassium

There were significant differences among AES (p <0.05), A1 and A2 had the highest values but they did not show any difference, while A3 had the lowest concentration of K2O differing with all treatments (Table 1). The year´s effect (Table 2) had a difference in the evaluated years (P <0.05). All values are ranged between deficient and critical values [18Díaz-Romeu R, Hunter A. Soil sampling methodology, chemical analysis of soil and plant tissue and research in the greenhouse CATIE, Turrialba, 1978; Costa Rica. 68p.].

3.6. Soil Calcium

No differences were found (Table 1) in the response variable (p <0.05) considering the agro-ecosystem´s effect. The year´s effect did not show (p <0.05) a significant difference (Table 2). Independently of the lack of response in the variation of Ca, this one is situated in the optimum range (4-20 meq 100 mL-1) [22 INIAP Análisis de la situación actual de los suelos en el Ecuador. Anexo No. 41. Quito, Octubre 2014; 4.]. All raw data in each sampling ranged from 5.96 - 8.40 meq 100 mL-1.

3.7. Soil Magnesium

There were no significant differences among A1, A2 and A3 (p <0.05) (Table 1). The variation of Mg content was significant between the analyzed years (Table 2). All raw data were below the optimum range in all AES and years. It was noticeable that Mg content was considerably low, ranging from (0.37-0.91). The optimum values are comprised from 1-10 meq 100 mL-1 [18Díaz-Romeu R, Hunter A. Soil sampling methodology, chemical analysis of soil and plant tissue and research in the greenhouse CATIE, Turrialba, 1978; Costa Rica. 68p.].

Based on our preliminary findings, the agro-ecosystem´s and the year´s effects did not show interactions. The impact on the response variables were demonstrated as separated effects in which both AES and years impacted the majority of chemical variables. It suggests to continue the evaluation of the dynamics of soil quality throughout the time. Thus, further data collection (at least, three years of evaluation) is required to draw a consistent recommendation of the current study.

4. DISCUSSION

The preliminary findings of the current study are consistent with those obtained in degraded soils in Colombia. It was demonstrated the impact of soil improvement in 13-year-old multistrata SPS on soil quality parameters. The authors stated that the effects found were associated with the tree species involved rather than the SPS arrangement [9Judith M, Judith M, Boxes YS, Leon JD, Osorio NW. Silvopastoral systems enhance soil quality in grasslands of colombia. Appl Env Soil Sci 2014; 8 pages. Article ID 359736. doi:10.1155/2014/359736.]. On the other hand, in Amazon basin similar benefits were obtained in degraded soils using SPS [23Fernandes EM, Wandelli E, Perin R, Garcia S. Restoring productivity to degraded pasture lands in the Amazon through agroforestry practices, in Biological Approaches to Sustainable Soil Systems, N. Uphoff, Ed.,pp. 305–322, CRC Press, Boca Raton, 2006; FL, USA.]. The current study did not show the effect of interactions between AES and years. The analysis of AES’s effect indicated significant differences (p <0.05) to pH, SOM, P2O5 and K2O. The missing effects of interactions could be explained due to in the first three years, the fast growing trees removed part of the soil nutrient reserves and did not produce enough litter. However, once the canopy was closed (4-5 years) the trees can act as self-nourishing system via litter production and decay [24Kumar BM, Jacob S. George, Jamaludheen V. & Suresh T. K. Comparison of biomass production, tree allometry an nutrient use efficiency of multipurpose trees grown in woodlot and silvopastoral experiments in Kerala, India. For Ecol Manage 1998; 112(1-2): 145-63.[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0378-1127(98)00325-9] ]. The historical route of N fertilizer applied to the soil ranged from 200-250 kg ha-1 year-1, O. Benavides in personal interview with the main author of the current study “personal communication” [25 O. Benavides, personal communication, October 25, 2015.] but the residual N from historical fertilizer applications did not affect the current results because they occurred more than five years ago. Other important findings were that Mg and K2O were below their critical value INIAP [22 INIAP Análisis de la situación actual de los suelos en el Ecuador. Anexo No. 41. Quito, Octubre 2014; 4.]. These cations among others are associated with cation exchange capacity in soils, however it must be taken into account that as soils become more acidic these cations are replaced by H and Al [26APAL (Australian Precision Agriculture Laboratory).. Soil Test Interpretation Guide. Agricultural Laboratory. n.d. http://www.apal.com.au/labmethods(accessed 29 junio 2017).]. This is particularly important in Andosols containing a high amount of Al [15FAO. World Reference Base for Soil Resources update 2015 International soil classification system for naming soils and creating legends for soil maps. World Soil Resources 2014 Reports No. 106. FAO, Rome.]. The toxicity of Al occurs when pH is less than 5.5 [26APAL (Australian Precision Agriculture Laboratory).. Soil Test Interpretation Guide. Agricultural Laboratory. n.d. http://www.apal.com.au/labmethods(accessed 29 junio 2017).] and this value is the borderline between acidic and slightly acidic soils. Therefore, further evaluation should be accomplished throughout the time to evaluate the pH which was one the most limiting factors in the present study. Nevertheless, the pH in SPS was higher than rangeland on the current study which demonstrated the beginning of the positive impact of design and management.

One of the most interesting findings was the bioavailability of P, whose values significantly increased (p <0.05) from medium to high in no less than one year of running the measurements in the soil (Table 2). These results could be explained by the ability of A. acuminata to colonize the roots with ecto-mycorrhizal and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi which had an impact on some soil parameters such as pH, water holding capacity, available phosphorus, organic matter and total nitrogen [27Becerra A, Zak MR, Horton TR, Micolini J. Ectomycorrhizal and arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization of Alnus acuminata from Calilegua National Park (Argentina). Mycorrhiza 2005; 15(7): 525-31.[http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00572-005-0360-7] [PMID: 16034621] ]. Besides, a great variation of richness and composition in ecto-mycorrhizal associated with A. acuminata, depended on their geographical location [28Kennedy PG, Garibay-Orijel R. Angeles-Arguiz, Higgins LM, R. Ectomycorrhizal fungi in Mexican Alnus forests support the host co-migration hypothesis and continental-scale patterns in phylogeography. Mycorrhiza 2011; 21: 1-10.[http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00572-011-0366-2] [PMID: 20803040] ]. On the other hand, the study on nutrient and mass litter in the top soil of ten tropical tree species suggested that the soil P associated with trees was on average twice that of the grasses [29Lugo AE, Cuevas E. Nutrients and mass in litter and top soil of ten tropical tree plantations. Plant Soil 1990; 125(2): 263-80.[http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00010665] ]. These results were consistent with high levels of litter production in the SPS in which the P return through the litter was 1–3 kg ha −1yr−1, while in grasses, it was only 0.2–0.8 kg ha−1yr−1 [20IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 220 Armonk 2013.]. An implication of this study is the possibility of using agroforestry as an agro-ecological technology to enhance soils quality instead of applying chemical fertilizers.

It was remarkable, that the SOM in the soil samples collected (11.90 - 18.00 to 14.60-18.80%) had very high values, from the baseline to subsequent soil samplings, respectively. The lowest value of SOM in the present study was more than twice higher than the one considered as high [30Vargas Hernández S. Production of sustainable tropical bovine milk Design, management and evaluation of agro-ecosystems. An integrated approach. Publicia Editorial. AV Akademikerv erlag GmbH & Co. KG Heinrich-Böcking-Str. 6-8 D - 66121 Saarbrücken. 2013; ISBN 978-3-639-55125-9. P.158.]. These values are normally found in Andosols [15FAO. World Reference Base for Soil Resources update 2015 International soil classification system for naming soils and creating legends for soil maps. World Soil Resources 2014 Reports No. 106. FAO, Rome.]. The most likely cause of higher SOM in our study could be the amount of aluminum that protects the complex aluminum-humic against biodegradation. This leads to the accumulation of SOM in the soil [31Moreno HR, Ibanez SA, Gisbert JM. Andisols. Polytechnic University of Valencia.2011. https://riunet.upv.es/ bitstream/ handle/10251/ 13676/ Andisoles.pdf?sequence=3 (Accessed 24 April 2017).]. Moreover, under plentiful vegetation a large amount of humus accumulates in the A horizon, forming the Al-humus complex in Andosols [32Status of the World’s Soil Resources (SWSR) – Main Report 2015; 648.]. The characterization of soil and climatic conditions with the accumulation of SOM, precipitation, temperature and pH ranging 800-1000 mm, 10-12°C and pH, 5.5 - 6.5 respectively, were described [12Franco W, Peñafiel M, Cerón C, Freire E. Productive biodiversity and associated in the interandean valley north of the Equator. 28 Bioagro 2016; (3): 181-92.] and were similar to our research scenario. These conditions affected NH4-N concentrations at the time of sampling but did not reflect further conditions. Ammonium-nitrogen does not usually accumulate in the soil when soil temperature and moisture conditions are suitable for plant growth what facilitates the conversion of NH4-N to NO3-N [33Horneck DA, Sullivan DM, Owen JS, Hart JM. Soil Test Interpretation Guide 2011. https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/ec1478 .(Accessed 20 June 2017).]. Therefore, soil concentrations of NO3-N and NH4-N should be taken as a diagnostic tool or to identify trends through the time. Contrary to the expectations, a high concentration of ammonia-nitrogen will not likely increase yield because of much of that concentration is tied up in SOM and is not readily available to plants [26APAL (Australian Precision Agriculture Laboratory).. Soil Test Interpretation Guide. Agricultural Laboratory. n.d. http://www.apal.com.au/labmethods(accessed 29 junio 2017).]. Nitrogen has to be in a mineralized form (nitrate or ammonia), it can be leached down the soil profile affecting the aquifers when availability exceeds plant nutrients demands [34Abril A, Roca L. Impact of nitrogen fertilization on soil and aquifers in the humid pampa, argentina. Open Agric J 2008; 2: 22-7.[http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1874331500802010022] ]. These authors measured the impact of nitrogen fertilization on soil and aquifers in humid Pampa Argentina, in soils with 4% of SOM and pointed out that a very significant impact on soil of three chemical N forms (nitrate, ammonium and urea) had a strong negative effect on abundance of N2-fixing organisms. In contrast, the current study is working with another paradigm which changes chemical fertilizers for ecological technology, which could be encouraged by N2 fixation depending on actinomycetes, colonizing A. acuminata roots and genus Rhizobium, in A. melanoxylon [11Arteaga J, Navia J, Castle J. Behavior of chemical variables of a soil subjected to different uses, Nariño Department, Colombia. Rev Cienc Agr 2014; 33(2): 62-75.[http://dx.doi.org/10.22267/rcia.163302.53] ]. In this sense, leguminous trees could also transfer fixed N2 to associated grass via common mycorrhizal networks [35Li YJ, Liu ZL, He XY, Tian CJ. Nitrogen metabolism and translocation in arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiote and its ecological implications. Ying Yong Sheng Tai Xue Bao 2013; 24(3): 861-8.[PMID: 23755506] ]. Moreover, as a consequence of the increase of the bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes and earthworms on Inceptisoil, better soil quality dynamics was achieved using L. leucocephala [30Vargas Hernández S. Production of sustainable tropical bovine milk Design, management and evaluation of agro-ecosystems. An integrated approach. Publicia Editorial. AV Akademikerv erlag GmbH & Co. KG Heinrich-Böcking-Str. 6-8 D - 66121 Saarbrücken. 2013; ISBN 978-3-639-55125-9. P.158.]. There was some evidence that nitrate dynamics is related to important changes in microbial activity due to: the presence of organic N (increase in ammonifiers) and the feed-back effect of soil nitrate (decrease of nitrifiers) [36Tebbe CC, Schloter M. Biodiversity in Agricultural Production Systems Discerning the diversity of soil prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea) and their impact on agriculture, CRC Taylor & Francis, Boca Raton 2007; 81-100.]. The present study was limited by the elapsed time, because of soil quality dynamics must be measured during subsequent years and must be supported by soil health evidence which was observed in this scenario (unpublished data). The litter of trees, pastures, dung and urine excreted by the cows in subsequent rotations per paddocks could have increased the ammonium and nitrate in the soil [30Vargas Hernández S. Production of sustainable tropical bovine milk Design, management and evaluation of agro-ecosystems. An integrated approach. Publicia Editorial. AV Akademikerv erlag GmbH & Co. KG Heinrich-Böcking-Str. 6-8 D - 66121 Saarbrücken. 2013; ISBN 978-3-639-55125-9. P.158.].

The findings of this study suggest measuring the dynamics of macronutrients among soil-plant-animal to balance the recycling of nutrients like N P, K. It could be used a software to calculate the total inputs and outputs to determine the balance of those nutrients at dairy farm level [30Vargas Hernández S. Production of sustainable tropical bovine milk Design, management and evaluation of agro-ecosystems. An integrated approach. Publicia Editorial. AV Akademikerv erlag GmbH & Co. KG Heinrich-Böcking-Str. 6-8 D - 66121 Saarbrücken. 2013; ISBN 978-3-639-55125-9. P.158., 37Rodriguez I, Crespo G, Fraga S. Application of the software recycling of nutrients in cattle units of the western part of Cuba. Can J Agric Sci 2005; 39: 615.].

In general sense, the current study has important practical implications to the sustainable dairy sector, applying the agro-ecological principles of sustainable soil management to enhance soil quality in the Andean soils AES.

CONCLUSION

This study has encouraged to continue the assessment of soil quality dynamics in subsequent periods of time and years in each agro-ecosystem to demonstrate with scientific evidence the potential of agro-ecosystems´ resources when a rational grass management and a good design are managed with an integrated approach. Therefore, it is recommended to continue evaluating the soil quality to support and promote SPS in this region.

ETHICS APPROVAL AND CONSENT TO PARTICIPATE

Not applicable.

HUMAN AND ANIMAL RIGHTS

No Animals/Humans were used for studies that are base of this research.

CONSENT FOR PUBLICATION

Not applicable.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

The authors confirm that this article content has no conflict of interest.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The authors would like to thank CONDESAN “Consorcio para el Desarrollo Sostenible de la Ecorregión Andina” for facilitating the seedlings to planting Alder and Acacia. Also, the authors want to acknowledge the authorities of UPEC “Universidad Politécnica Estatal del Carchi” for providing necessary facilities and support to get ahead the project with alumni and some staff of EDIA Studies “Escuela de Desarrollo Integral Agropecuario”.

REFERENCES

[1] Torralba M, Fagerholm N, Burgess PJ, Moreno G, Plieningerm T. Do European agroforestry systems enhance biodiversity and ecosystem services? A meta-analysis. Agric Ecosyst Environ 2016; 230: 150-61.[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2016.06.002]
[2] Nerlich K, Graeff-Hönninger S, Claupein W. Agroforestry in Europe: Review of the disappearance of traditional systems and development of modern Agroforestry practices, with emphasis on experiences in Germany. Agrofor Syst 2013; 87: 475-92.[http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10457-012-9560-2]
[3] Rivest D, Paquette A, Moreno G, Messier C. A meta-analysis reveals mostly neutral influence of scattered trees on pasture yield along with some transplanted effects depending on functional groups and rainfall conditions. Agric Ecosyst Environ 2013; 74: 165-79.[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2012.12.010]
[4] European Union. Regulation (EU) No. 1307/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 Establishing Rules for Direct Payments to farmers under support schemes within the framework of the Common Agricultural Policy and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No. 637/2008 and Council Regulation (EC) No. 73/2009. http:// eur-lex.europa.eu/ LexUriServ/ LexUriServ.do?uri= OJ:L:2013:347: 0608:0670:EN:PDF. Official Journal of the European Union L 2013; 347: 608-70.
[5] Franco W. Propuestas para la innovación en los sistemas agro-productivos y el desarrollo. Revista Tierra Infinita 2015; No. 5. (www.upec.edu.ec. UPEC, Tulcán-Ecuador). Universidad Regional Amazónica-IKIAM. https:// www.researchgate.net/ publication/ 295854413.
[6] Craswell ET. Vlek Paul. L. G. Mining of Nutrients in African Soils Due to Agricultural Intensification.Principles of Sustainable Soil Management in Agroecosystems, Advances in Soil Science 2013; 401-21.https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262014160
[7] Rachel C Pinho, Rober P. Miller, Sonia S. Alfaia. Agroforestry and the Improvement of soil fertility: A view from the Amazonia.Applied and Environmental Soil Science 2012. Article ID 616383, 11 pages http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/616383.
[8] Uribe F, Zuluaga AF, Valencia Murgueitio LE, Zapata A, Solarte L. Establishment and management of silvopastoral systems. Manual 1, Colombian cattle raising project sustainable. GEF, World Bank, FEDEGAN, CIPAV, fund action, TNC. Bogota, Colombia.2011; 78.
[9] Judith M, Judith M, Boxes YS, Leon JD, Osorio NW. Silvopastoral systems enhance soil quality in grasslands of colombia. Appl Env Soil Sci 2014; 8 pages. Article ID 359736. doi:10.1155/2014/359736.
[10] Devendra C. Perspectives on the Potential of Silvopastoral Systems. 3 Agrotechnol 2014; 117[http://dx.doi.org/10.4172/2168-9881.1000117]
[11] Arteaga J, Navia J, Castle J. Behavior of chemical variables of a soil subjected to different uses, Nariño Department, Colombia. Rev Cienc Agr 2014; 33(2): 62-75.[http://dx.doi.org/10.22267/rcia.163302.53]
[12] Franco W, Peñafiel M, Cerón C, Freire E. Productive biodiversity and associated in the interandean valley north of the Equator. 28 Bioagro 2016; (3): 181-92.
[13] Mbow C, Noordwijk MV, Luedeling E, Neufeldt H, Minang PA, Kowero G. Agroforestry solutions to address food security and climate change challenges in Africa. Curr Opin Environ Sustain 2014; 6: 61-7.[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2013.10.014]
[14] INAMHI (National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology). Directory Weather No. 51-2011. Quito, Ecuador. 2014. http:// www.serviciometeorologico. gob.ec/ wp-content/ uploads/ yearbooks/ weather/ Am%202011.pdf (accessed 24 April 2017).
[15] FAO. World Reference Base for Soil Resources update 2015 International soil classification system for naming soils and creating legends for soil maps. World Soil Resources 2014 Reports No. 106. FAO, Rome.
[16] INAMHI (National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology). Meteorological station “Rancheros del Norte - EL CARMELO” Code, M1256 Temperatures and precipitation 2016.
[17] Taylor & Francis Group. Soil sampling and methods of analysis. Second Edition. Canadian Society of Soil Science.2008. FL 33487-2742.
[18] Díaz-Romeu R, Hunter A. Soil sampling methodology, chemical analysis of soil and plant tissue and research in the greenhouse CATIE, Turrialba, 1978; Costa Rica. 68p.
[19] Walkley A, Black IA. An examination of the Degtjareff method for determining soil organic matter and a proposed modification of the chromic acid titration method. Soil Sci 1934; 37: 29-38.[http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00010694-193401000-00003]
[20] IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 220 Armonk 2013.
[21] Molina E, Meléndez G. Tabla de interpretación de análisis de suelos Centro de Investigaciones Agronómicas, Universidad de Costa Rica 2002.
[22] INIAP Análisis de la situación actual de los suelos en el Ecuador. Anexo No. 41. Quito, Octubre 2014; 4.
[23] Fernandes EM, Wandelli E, Perin R, Garcia S. Restoring productivity to degraded pasture lands in the Amazon through agroforestry practices, in Biological Approaches to Sustainable Soil Systems, N. Uphoff, Ed.,pp. 305–322, CRC Press, Boca Raton, 2006; FL, USA.
[24] Kumar BM, Jacob S. George, Jamaludheen V. & Suresh T. K. Comparison of biomass production, tree allometry an nutrient use efficiency of multipurpose trees grown in woodlot and silvopastoral experiments in Kerala, India. For Ecol Manage 1998; 112(1-2): 145-63.[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0378-1127(98)00325-9]
[25] O. Benavides, personal communication, October 25, 2015.
[26] APAL (Australian Precision Agriculture Laboratory).. Soil Test Interpretation Guide. Agricultural Laboratory. n.d. http://www.apal.com.au/labmethods(accessed 29 junio 2017).
[27] Becerra A, Zak MR, Horton TR, Micolini J. Ectomycorrhizal and arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization of Alnus acuminata from Calilegua National Park (Argentina). Mycorrhiza 2005; 15(7): 525-31.[http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00572-005-0360-7] [PMID: 16034621]
[28] Kennedy PG, Garibay-Orijel R. Angeles-Arguiz, Higgins LM, R. Ectomycorrhizal fungi in Mexican Alnus forests support the host co-migration hypothesis and continental-scale patterns in phylogeography. Mycorrhiza 2011; 21: 1-10.[http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00572-011-0366-2] [PMID: 20803040]
[29] Lugo AE, Cuevas E. Nutrients and mass in litter and top soil of ten tropical tree plantations. Plant Soil 1990; 125(2): 263-80.[http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00010665]
[30] Vargas Hernández S. Production of sustainable tropical bovine milk Design, management and evaluation of agro-ecosystems. An integrated approach. Publicia Editorial. AV Akademikerv erlag GmbH & Co. KG Heinrich-Böcking-Str. 6-8 D - 66121 Saarbrücken. 2013; ISBN 978-3-639-55125-9. P.158.
[31] Moreno HR, Ibanez SA, Gisbert JM. Andisols. Polytechnic University of Valencia.2011. https://riunet.upv.es/ bitstream/ handle/10251/ 13676/ Andisoles.pdf?sequence=3 (Accessed 24 April 2017).
[32] Status of the World’s Soil Resources (SWSR) – Main Report 2015; 648.
[33] Horneck DA, Sullivan DM, Owen JS, Hart JM. Soil Test Interpretation Guide 2011. https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/ec1478 .(Accessed 20 June 2017).
[34] Abril A, Roca L. Impact of nitrogen fertilization on soil and aquifers in the humid pampa, argentina. Open Agric J 2008; 2: 22-7.[http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1874331500802010022]
[35] Li YJ, Liu ZL, He XY, Tian CJ. Nitrogen metabolism and translocation in arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiote and its ecological implications. Ying Yong Sheng Tai Xue Bao 2013; 24(3): 861-8.[PMID: 23755506]
[36] Tebbe CC, Schloter M. Biodiversity in Agricultural Production Systems Discerning the diversity of soil prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea) and their impact on agriculture, CRC Taylor & Francis, Boca Raton 2007; 81-100.
[37] Rodriguez I, Crespo G, Fraga S. Application of the software recycling of nutrients in cattle units of the western part of Cuba. Can J Agric Sci 2005; 39: 615.
[38] Tukey JW. Comparing individual means in the analysis of variance. Biometrics 1949; 5(2): 99-114.[http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3001913] [PMID: 18151955]

Endorsements



"Open access will revolutionize 21st century knowledge work and accelerate the diffusion of ideas and evidence that support just in time learning and the evolution of thinking in a number of disciplines."


Daniel Pesut
(Indiana University School of Nursing, USA)

"It is important that students and researchers from all over the world can have easy access to relevant, high-standard and timely scientific information. This is exactly what Open Access Journals provide and this is the reason why I support this endeavor."


Jacques Descotes
(Centre Antipoison-Centre de Pharmacovigilance, France)

"Publishing research articles is the key for future scientific progress. Open Access publishing is therefore of utmost importance for wider dissemination of information, and will help serving the best interest of the scientific community."


Patrice Talaga
(UCB S.A., Belgium)

"Open access journals are a novel concept in the medical literature. They offer accessible information to a wide variety of individuals, including physicians, medical students, clinical investigators, and the general public. They are an outstanding source of medical and scientific information."


Jeffrey M. Weinberg
(St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, USA)

"Open access journals are extremely useful for graduate students, investigators and all other interested persons to read important scientific articles and subscribe scientific journals. Indeed, the research articles span a wide range of area and of high quality. This is specially a must for researchers belonging to institutions with limited library facility and funding to subscribe scientific journals."


Debomoy K. Lahiri
(Indiana University School of Medicine, USA)

"Open access journals represent a major break-through in publishing. They provide easy access to the latest research on a wide variety of issues. Relevant and timely articles are made available in a fraction of the time taken by more conventional publishers. Articles are of uniformly high quality and written by the world's leading authorities."


Robert Looney
(Naval Postgraduate School, USA)

"Open access journals have transformed the way scientific data is published and disseminated: particularly, whilst ensuring a high quality standard and transparency in the editorial process, they have increased the access to the scientific literature by those researchers that have limited library support or that are working on small budgets."


Richard Reithinger
(Westat, USA)

"Not only do open access journals greatly improve the access to high quality information for scientists in the developing world, it also provides extra exposure for our papers."


J. Ferwerda
(University of Oxford, UK)

"Open Access 'Chemistry' Journals allow the dissemination of knowledge at your finger tips without paying for the scientific content."


Sean L. Kitson
(Almac Sciences, Northern Ireland)

"In principle, all scientific journals should have open access, as should be science itself. Open access journals are very helpful for students, researchers and the general public including people from institutions which do not have library or cannot afford to subscribe scientific journals. The articles are high standard and cover a wide area."


Hubert Wolterbeek
(Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands)

"The widest possible diffusion of information is critical for the advancement of science. In this perspective, open access journals are instrumental in fostering researches and achievements."


Alessandro Laviano
(Sapienza - University of Rome, Italy)

"Open access journals are very useful for all scientists as they can have quick information in the different fields of science."


Philippe Hernigou
(Paris University, France)

"There are many scientists who can not afford the rather expensive subscriptions to scientific journals. Open access journals offer a good alternative for free access to good quality scientific information."


Fidel Toldrá
(Instituto de Agroquimica y Tecnologia de Alimentos, Spain)

"Open access journals have become a fundamental tool for students, researchers, patients and the general public. Many people from institutions which do not have library or cannot afford to subscribe scientific journals benefit of them on a daily basis. The articles are among the best and cover most scientific areas."


M. Bendandi
(University Clinic of Navarre, Spain)

"These journals provide researchers with a platform for rapid, open access scientific communication. The articles are of high quality and broad scope."


Peter Chiba
(University of Vienna, Austria)

"Open access journals are probably one of the most important contributions to promote and diffuse science worldwide."


Jaime Sampaio
(University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal)

"Open access journals make up a new and rather revolutionary way to scientific publication. This option opens several quite interesting possibilities to disseminate openly and freely new knowledge and even to facilitate interpersonal communication among scientists."


Eduardo A. Castro
(INIFTA, Argentina)

"Open access journals are freely available online throughout the world, for you to read, download, copy, distribute, and use. The articles published in the open access journals are high quality and cover a wide range of fields."


Kenji Hashimoto
(Chiba University, Japan)

"Open Access journals offer an innovative and efficient way of publication for academics and professionals in a wide range of disciplines. The papers published are of high quality after rigorous peer review and they are Indexed in: major international databases. I read Open Access journals to keep abreast of the recent development in my field of study."


Daniel Shek
(Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)

"It is a modern trend for publishers to establish open access journals. Researchers, faculty members, and students will be greatly benefited by the new journals of Bentham Science Publishers Ltd. in this category."


Jih Ru Hwu
(National Central University, Taiwan)


Browse Contents



Advertisements


Webmaster Contact: info@benthamopen.com
Copyright © 2018 Bentham Open