Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 185, Issue 6, pp 5085–5098 | Cite as

The impact of disturbance and ensuing forestry practices on Collembola in monitored stands of windthrown forest in the Tatra National Park (Slovakia)

  • Peter ČuchtaEmail author
  • Dana Miklisová
  • Ľubomír Kováč


Soil Collembola communities were investigated in spruce forest stands of the High Tatra Mts that had been heavily damaged by a windstorm in November 2004 and subsequently by a wildfire in July 2005. The study focused on the impact of these disturbances and forestry practices on collembolan community distribution and structure 4 years after the disturbance. Four different treatments were selected for this study: intact forest stands (REF), non-extracted windthrown stands (NEX), clear-cut windthrown stands (EXT) and burnt windthrown stands (FIR). From a total of 7,820 individuals, 72 species were identified. The highest total abundance mean was recorded in FIR stands followed by NEX and EXT stands and, surprisingly, the lowest in REF stands. The highest total species richness was observed in REF stands, followed by NEX stands and FIR stands and the lowest in EXT stands. In REF and NEX stands, the most abundant species were Folsomia penicula and Tetracanthella fjellbergi, while in heavily damaged stands, the most abundant was Anurophorus laricis. The ordination method used demonstrated a significant influence of treatment on the abundance of Collembola. ANOVA used confirmed significant differences for all dominant species between treatments. The present study shows the negative impact of windthrow on Collembola communities as reflected in decreased species richness and abundance. However, disturbance by fire caused a considerable increase in collembolan abundance 3 years after the event. Moreover, we show that clearing of windthrown spruce forests after a windstorm is less favourable for communities of soil collembolans and slows down the recovery process.


Windthrow Wildfire Disturbance Collembola Clearing High Tatra Mts 



The study was supported by the Slovak Scientific Grant Agency VEGA project no. 1/0282/11. We wish to thank Dr. Karel Tajovský and Prof. Šantrůčková (Biological Centre CAS, České Budějovice) for the soil chemical analyses. We thank also Dr. Peter Fleischer and Dr. Barbara Chovancová (Administration of the Tatra National Park, Tatranská Lomnica) for their help during the field work. We are grateful to Kieran Green for language revision of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Čuchta
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dana Miklisová
    • 2
  • Ľubomír Kováč
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Biology and Ecology, Faculty of ScienceP. J. Šafárik UniversityKošiceSlovak Republic
  2. 2.Institute of ParasitologySlovak Academy of SciencesKošiceSlovak Republic

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