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Seasonal dynamics and land use effect on soil microarthropod communities in the Mid-hills of Nepal

Farida Begum, Roshan Man Bajracharya, Bishal Kumar Sitaula, Subodh Sharma, Shaukat Ali, Haibat Ali

Department of Environmental Sciences, Karakoram International University, Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan

Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, School of Science, Kathmandu University, Dhulikhel, Kavre, Nepal

University of Life Sciences, Ǻs, Norway

Key words: Biological indicators, soil organic carbon, soil biological quality, microarthropods, moisture.


08-soilscienceThe study addressed the influence of seasons and land use on soil microarthropod communities. Soil fauna were grouped into three categories, i.e., Collembola (20%), Acari (59%) and other microarthropods (21%). The densities of total microarthropod, Collembola, and Acari were highly significant with seasons. Shannon Index and QBS-ar were also significant with seasons while with the land use change density of Collembola and Shannon Index were weakly significant. Highest average densities of Collembola (60%), Acari (54%), other microarthropods (55%) and QBS-ar were observed in the forest as compared to agriculture. Pearson’s correlation indicated that bulk density, soil temperature and pH were significantly negatively correlated with biological indicators except Shannon Wiener Index. Most of the investigated biological indicators were positively correlated among each other. Seasons had greater influence on biological indicators than the land use change. This research indicated that soil microarthropods appear to be consistent and potentially a good indicator for assessing the impact of land use practice and seasons on soil quality. However long term research is required to fully understand the impact of different agricultural practices and seasons on soil faunal abundance, diversity and community structure for the conservation of soil biota as well as assessment of soil quality.

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