Structure of the oribatid mite population (Acariformes, Oribatida) in the topsoil within forest plantations in reclaimed territories (Ukraine)
Keywords: environment reclamation, ecosystem services, pedogenesis, forest recultivation, red cedar (Juniperus virginiana L.), oribatid mites
AbstractIt has been demonstrated that coal mining leads to land degradation and devegetation with subsequent desertification of landscapes. Recently, it has become a worldwide environmental and socioeconomic problem. The presented study was performed on various stratigraphic types of artificial edaphotopes on the reclaimed site of “Pavlogradskaya” mine (Pavlograd, Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukraine) planted with eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana L.). The features of the structure of oribatid mite (Oribatida) population as primary destructors of dead plant material that provide such ecosystem service as improvement of soil fertility are considered. The amount of oribatid mite species varied from 17 to 26 within the studied plots in the topsoil under the red cedar. The minimal quantity of species (17 and 19, accordingly) was found in recultivated plots covered with Calcic Chernozem on the interlayer of loesslike loam and Calcic Chernozem on the interlayer of sand compared to loess-like loam topsoil (26 species). The average density of populations of oribatid mites varied from 1820 to 2887 ind./m2. A higher meaning for average population density was found for Calcic Chernozem cover (from 2333 to 2887 ind./m2). In the population of oribatida in all studied artificial edaphotops under the red cedar within reclaimed forest plots, such common species as Multioppia (M.) glabra (Mihelčič, 1955), Ramusella (Rectoppia) mihelcici (Pérez‒Íñigo, 1965) could be identified.