Alley cropping; Maize intercropped with fruit trees (MIFT), is a system of technified agro forestry cultivation of central Mexico. MIFT is one of the most feasible cultivation systems to show the biodiversity richness of the country; however, the effect this system exercises on the soil organisms has not been measured, whereby the macrofauna, mites and collembolans from the furrows of perennial production (Prunus persica) and from the middle part dedicated to annual species (Zea mayz, Capsicum annum, Medicago sativa) have been sampled, considering 4 MIFTs of the dry and plane environment of Puebla, plus another 4 of the humid and hillside environment of Oaxaca; and the forest of both regions as a control. Results showed that abundance and biomass were greater in ants and worms, respectively; while in Oaxaca, the greatest values were in diplopods. In both regions, the density and the biomass of macrofauna and with the m/m+s index, showed the gradient “Forest-MIFT”, with lower values in Puebla; only Oaxaca showed more favorable conditions for edaphic biota, possibly due to handling of organic materials (OM). According to our results, in Puebla there are opportunities to stimulate the diversity and the population of edaphic biota through OM handling and to achieve a MIFT which takes advantage of the capacity for nutrient recycling of soil organisms and impacts on fertility restoration.
Key words: Edaphic biota, macrofauna, alley cropping, maize intercropped with fruit trees (MIFT).
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