Maples, the rescue of the Maashorst?

2-2-2018 – HAS University – ‘s-Hertogenbosch

A study about the effects of different methods of planting the sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) on soil fauna.

During autumn 2017 in nature park the Maashorst the soil fauna was studied. This study was executed in an area where young sycamores were planted with different treatments (mineral fertilizer, gel granules, a combination of those two and a control treatment). To test the effect of these treatments, 10 soil samples were taken from each treatment. Using Tullgren funnels, the samples were analyzed by hand, counting, identifying and measuring the macrofauna. By using these measurements, the biomass of the fauna was estimated.

Results showed a difference in soil fauna biomass between the different treatments. In the soil containing mineral fertilizer a higher soil fauna biomass was found, compared to the soil containing gel granule treatment and combination treatment (gel granule and mineral fertilizer).  Furthermore, the results showed a correlation between total soil fauna biomass and the size of the organic layer in the soil. Lastly, the size of the organic layer was higher in soil containing gel granules.

Authors:  Jens Bokelaar – Julia Rip – Mees Swinkels