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Colonization of soil fauna in afforested coal mined areas in the rhineland


, : Colonization of soil fauna in afforested coal mined areas in the rhineland. Zoologische Jahrbuecher Abteilung fuer Systematik Oekologie und Geographie der Tiere 119(4): 505-533

Colonization of soil fauna in afforested coal mined areas in the Rhineland. Over a period of two years the soil fauna (Lumbricidae, Diplopoda, Diptera, Carabidae) of an afforested coal mine dump was studied. The plots within the reclaimed area were 1, 4, and seven years old. In addition 4 years old plots, which differed from all others by a 5-15 cm coverage of woodland soil, were investigated. The soil fauna of the plots treated with woodland soil according to euclidian distances was most different to all other plots. This was especially obvious in the fauna of Lumbricidae. Population density (515-576 ind./m-2) and biomass (86.7-98.2 g/m-2) exceeded even reference values from deciduous forests. Abundance of Diplopoda (189-363 ind./m-2) was equivalent to recorded data from deciduous forests, while biomass (310-355 mg/m-2) was less. According to these data the woodland treated plots corresponded to reclamation areas which were 30-50 years old and had undergone natural succession. The species-diversity of the plots covered with woodland soil was distinctly less than species-diversities known to occur in forest ecosystems. Only the earthworms Aporrectodea caliginosa, A. rosea, Lumbricus rubellus and Dendrodrilus rubidus as well as the Diplopoda Polydesmus denticulatus, Julus scandinavius, Craspedosoma rawlinsi and Allajulus nitidus were frequent. These soil species are known as pioneer species, synanthropic species, or as eurytopic woodland species. They were also common on the reclamation plots not covered with woodland soil. Isopods were absent in all investigated sites. Also the distribution pattern of Diptera-Larvae indicated the distinct faunal situation between the plots. But for Diptera-Imagines and for Carabidae the peculiarities of the plots covered with woodland soil were less evident. The distribution pattern of the ground beetles in particular showed a great similarity between most plots. The only exception was the one year old reclamation plot which was characterized mainly by pioneer species such as Trechus quadristriatus. Pioneer species of Diptera inhabiting the one year old plot belonged mainly to Chironomidae and Tipulidae. The former family was mainly represented by the terrestrial Bryophaenocladius cf. inconstans which contributed about 45% of the 1800 ind./m-2 found in this plot. In contrast, the plots covered with woodland soil were characterized mainly by Sciaridae and Fanniidae. Density of Diptera found in any one of the reclamation plots was less than the density known to occur in forest ecosystems.

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