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The development of soil mesofauna in a ruderal ecosystem as influenced by reclamation measures i. oribatei acari


The development of soil mesofauna in a ruderal ecosystem as influenced by reclamation measures i. oribatei acari



Pedobiologia 31(5-6): 391-408



ISSN/ISBN: 0031-4056

The soil cover of a rubble dump in Bremen, FRG, was levelled with bulldozers in winter 1979/80. The soil mesofauna was reduced to almost zero. From April 1980 a part of the area was left for undisturbed succession (SUK). Another part was rotary tilled in June 1980 and sown with grass, which later was regularly mown (REK). The development of the oribatid synusia was examined continuously over a period of 3 1/2 years. An additional sample gave information on the state of development after 41/2 years. A colonization by the pioneer species Oppiella nova and tectocepheus sarekensis occurred on REK after 3 months, on SUK after 11/2 year. On both plots juveniles of Tectocepheus contributed to the abundance with 20-70%. For 21/2 years the abundances on SUK were lower than those on REK. In October 1982 SUK equaled REK with 44,000 orbatids .times. m-2. A total of 22 species was found, of which 17 occurred on REK, 13 on SUK and 8 on both plots respectively. The number of species on REK was in most cases greater than on SUK. Species numbers increaed during the study period in both plots, being lowest in summer. Even after 41/2 years of succession only 6 species could be found on both plots in June. On a neighboring succession plot, which is three years older than REK and SUK, however, 12 species were found. The effects of various environmental factors and of the immigration potential of oribatids are discussed. Important reasons for the late colonization of "virgin" land by oribatids are their low dispersal power and the long duration of individual development. Litter input has great importance for the further development of oribatid communities. Soil microclimate and habitat structure are influenced by litter in a way which is advantageous for the development of the oribatid community.

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Accession: 007882291

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