Annals of Forest Science

, Volume 69, Issue 1, pp 81–92 | Cite as

Changes within collembolan communities in windthrown European montane spruce forests 2 years after disturbance by fire

  • Peter ČuchtaEmail author
  • Dana Miklisová
  • Ľubomír Kováč
Original paper



In July 2005, a wildfire occurred in windthrown spruce forests in High Tatra Mountains and damaged roughly 229 ha of previously clear-cut area.


The present study focuses on assessing the influence of fire disturbance upon collembolan communities and compares the subsequent development of the model communities at burnt and unburnt stands 2 years after fire disturbance.


Three different treatments were selected for the study: REF stands—intact forest stands; EXT stands—clear-cut windthrown stands; and FIR stands—clear-cut windthrown stands subsequently damaged by wildfire. The study of soil microarthropods was carried out in three stands of each treatment, from soil samples taken in April and September of 2007. For statistical evaluation of results repeated measure analysis of variance and cluster analysis with indicator values were used.


Total material comprised of 3,632 specimens with 56 collembolan species identified. The highest Collembola abundance means were recorded in FIR stands, with the same parameter being significantly lower in REF and EXT stands. The mathematical methods demonstrated clear differences in the collembolan communities between the different treatments studied.


The present study showed that natural wildfire may increase abundance and species richness of soil Collembola in mountain spruce forests previously damaged by windthrow.


Fire disturbance Collembola Spruce forest Windthrow High Tatra Mountains 



The study was supported from the Slovak Scientific Grant Agency VEGA project no. 1/0019/08. The authors are very grateful to Dr. Karel Tajovský and prof. Dr. H. Šantrůčková (České Budějovice, Czech Republic) for their kind help with the soil–chemical analyses. Dr. Kieran Green (UK) is acknowledged for comments and linguistic correction of the manucript.


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Copyright information

© INRA and Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

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.Parasitological InstituteSlovak Academy of SciencesKošiceSlovak Republic

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