Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 185, Issue 11, pp 8943–8955 | Cite as

Humus characteristics and seasonal changes of soil arthropod communities in a natural sessile oak (Quercus petraea L.) stand and adjacent Austrian pine (Pinus nigra Arnold) plantation



In order to assess the effects of conversion of natural stands into plantations, soil invertebrate micro- and macroarthropod communities were evaluated for their abundance and richness in a sessile oak (SO; Quercus petraea L.) stand and adjacent Austrian pine (AP; Pinus nigra Arnold) plantation. Sites were sampled four times a year in 3-month intervals from May 2009 to February 2010. Humus characteristics such as total mass; carbon, lignin, and cellulose contents; and C/N ratio were significantly different between SO and AP. Statistically significant differences were detected on soil pH, carbon and nitrogen contents, and electrical conductivity between the two sites. The number of microarthropods was higher in AP than in the SO site. The annual mean abundance values of microarthropods in a square meter were 67,763 in AP and 50,542 in SO, and the annual mean abundance values of macroarthropods were 921 m−2 in AP and 427 m−2 in SO. Among the soil microarthropods, Acari and Collembola were the dominant groups. Shannon’s diversity index was more affected by evenness than species number despite the species diversity (H′) of soil arthropods being generally higher in the SO stand. The abundance of microarthropods showed clear seasonal trends depending upon the humidity of the soil.


Humus forms Invertebrate communities Natural stand Plantation Soil faunal diversity 



This work was supported by the Scientific Research Projects Coordination Unit of Istanbul University (project no. 3122). We specially thank Prof. Dr. Sophie Zechmeister-Boltenstern and Dr. Katharina Keiblinger (BOKU, Vienna, Austria) and Dr. Omer Kara and Süleyman Çoban for their help, support, and comments on the manuscript. The authors wish to thank anonymous reviewers and the editor whose remarks and indications significantly improved the original manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Forestry, Soil Science and Ecology DepartmentIstanbul UniversityIstanbulTurkey

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