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Soil microarthropod communities from Mediterranean forest ecosystems in Central Italy under different disturbances

Blasi Silvia, Menta Cristina, Balducci Lorena, Conti Federica Delia, Petrini Enrico et Piovesan Gianluca. (2013). Soil microarthropod communities from Mediterranean forest ecosystems in Central Italy under different disturbances. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 185, p. 1637-1655.


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The aim of this study is to assess soil quality in Mediterranean forests of Central Italy, from evergreen to deciduous, with different types of management (coppice vs. high forest vs. secondary old growth) and compaction impacts (machinery vs. recreational). Soil quality was evaluated studying soil microarthropod communities and applying a biological index (QBS-ar) based on the concept that the higher is the soil quality, the higher will be the number of microarthropod groups well adapted to the soil habitat. Our results confirm that hardwood soils are characterised by the highest biodiversity level among growth) and compaction impacts (machinery vs. recreational). terrestrial communities and by a well-structured and mature microarthropod community, which is typical of stable ecosystems (QBS value, >200). While silvicultural practices and forest composition do not seem to influence QBS-ar values or microarthropod community structure, the index is very efficient in detecting soil impacts (soil compaction due to logging activities). Several taxa (Protura, Diplura, Coleoptera adults, Pauropoda, Diplopoda, Symphyla, Chilopoda, Diptera larvae and Opiliones) react negatively to soil compaction and degradation (QBS value, <150). In particular, Protura, Diplura, Symphyla and Pauropoda, are taxonomic groups linked to undisturbed soil. This index could also be a useful tool in monitoring soil biodiversity in protected areas and in urban forestry to prevent the negative effects of trampling. QBS-ar is a candidate index for biomonitoring of soil microarthropod biodiversity across the landscape to provide guidance for the sustainable management of renewable resource and nature conservation.

Type de document:Article publié dans une revue avec comité d'évaluation
Pages:p. 1637-1655
Version évaluée par les pairs:Oui
Sujets:Sciences naturelles et génie > Sciences naturelles > Biologie et autres sciences connexes
Département, module, service et unité de recherche:Départements et modules > Département des sciences fondamentales > Modules des sciences fondamentales
Mots-clés:Soil fauna, soil disturbance, forest management, biological index, microarthropods, soil monitoring.
Déposé le:29 août 2013 01:34
Dernière modification:29 août 2013 01:34
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