The increased soil moisture which follows irrigation favours many soil biota. However, waterlogged soil conditions decreases the oxygen content of soil and there are few soil macrofauna (e.g. earthworms) present under these conditions.

Effects of irrigation on soil biota:

  • Irrigation allows earthworms to remain active in summer
  • Increase in springtail and mite abundance
  • Increase in Protozoa abundance
  • Increase in soil microbial biomass

Irrigation keeps soil moisture levels high and prevents death of soil biota in drought.