Tree species identity governs the soil macrofauna community composition and soil development at reclaimed post-mining sites on calcium-rich clays
- 68 Downloads
We tested the effect of main soil characteristics and tree species on earthworm community composition and abundance in reclaimed spoil heaps planted with five different tree species. Earthworm and soil macroarthropod abundance and biomass were highest in alder plantations, followed by oak plantations. The numbers of soil macrofauna were positively correlated with the total soil N content, which was highest in alder plantation. The correlation was strongest for endogeic earthworms (genus Aporrectodea and Octolasion). Soil moisture, measured in top 10 cm, affected only endogeic species. Other soil variables (pH, Ca) did not have a strong effect on earthworms. The earthworm community composition was similar in alder and oak, with most species occurring at both types of forest; however, in alder forest the epigeic species Dendrobaena octaedra was more common, whilst in oak forest the epigeic earthworms form genus Lumbricus were more abundant (L. rubellus and L. castaneus). The anecic species Aporrectodea longa was more abundant at alder sites, but L. terrestris was more abundant under oak. The alder forest was characteristic by a thick humus layer (10–15 cm), which at oak and larch sites was thinner (4–7 cm) and at pine and spruce stands was absent. Soil compaction was lower under the deciduous trees (alder, oak, larch), than under spruce and pine. We conclude that the alder plantations have most palatable litter and lowest C/N ratio and therefore support the highest numbers of soil macrofauna, which affects the humus layer thickness and soil compaction in the surface layers.
KeywordsReclamation Post-mining Earthworm Soil macrofauna Tree species Soil properties
The study was financially supported by the Grant of the Czech Ministry of Agriculture: QK1710241—Optimization of management of forest restoration on sites affected by surface mining. We would like to thank Dr. Kamila Svobodová, Martin Berka, Jan Řezník, Jan Roubíček and Dr. Marek Vach for their help during field sampling.
- Branquart E, Kime R, Dufrêne M, Tavernier J, Wauthy G (1995) Macroarthropod-habitat relationships in oak forests in South Belgium. 1. Environments and communities. Pedobiologia 39:243Google Scholar
- Curry JP (2004) Factors affecting the abundance of earthworms in soils. Earthworm Ecol 9:113Google Scholar
- Dunger, W. 1989. The return of soil fauna to coal mined areas in the German Democratic Republic. Animals in Primary Succession. The Role of Fauna in Reclaimed Land:307–337Google Scholar
- Dworschak UR (1997) Earthworm populations in a reclaimed lignite open-cast mine of the Rhineland. Eur J Soil Biol 33:75–81Google Scholar
- Emmerling C, Strunk H (2012) Active dispersal of the endo-anecic earthworm Aporrectodea longa (Ude) in an experimental box. Soil Org 84:491–498Google Scholar
- Jänsch S, Steffens L, Höfer H, Horak F, Roß-Nickoll M, Russell D, Toschki A, Römbke J (2013) State of knowledge of earthworm communities in German soils as a basis for biological soil quality assessment. Soil Org 85:215–233Google Scholar
- Mueller KE, Eisenhauer N, Reich PB, Hobbie SE, Chadwick OA, Chorover J, Dobies T, Hale CM, Jagodziński AM, Kałucka I (2016) Light, earthworms, and soil resources as predictors of diversity of 10 soil invertebrate groups across monocultures of 14 tree species. Soil Biol Biochem 92:184–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Statsoft Inc., (2012) STATISTICA (data analysis software system), ver. 12Google Scholar
- Walmsley A, Vachová P, Vach M (2017) Topography of spoil heaps and its role in plant succession and soil fauna presence. Sci Agric Bohem 48:30–38Google Scholar