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Thursday, 24 November 2016

Effects of gap size on diversity of soil fauna in a Cunninghamia lanceolata stand damaged by an ice storm in southern China

Published Date
Volume 27, Issue 6pp 1427–1434

Original Paper
DOI: 10.1007/s11676-016-0241-2

Cite this article as: 
Xu, J., Lie, G. & Xue, L. J. For. Res. (2016) 27: 1427. doi:10.1007/s11676-016-0241-2

  • Jianxin Xu
  • Ganwen Lie
  • Li Xue

Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook. is economically the most important tree species in southern China and has been cultivated in plantations on a large scale. This species is widely used in construction, furniture, utensils and shipbuilding. Soil fertility of C. lanceolatastands affects soil structure, porosity and nutrient availability, which causes changes in fauna activity. During January to February 2008, an ice storm caused extensive damage to C. lanceolata stands. Despite the environmental importance of soil fauna, basic information on the distribution and diversity of soil fauna in C. lanceolata stands after ice storm damage is lacking. To assess the response of soil fauna diversity and distribution to forest gaps following the ice storm, five small gaps (each 30–40 m2), five large gaps (each 80–100 m2) and five canopy cover plots were selected within a 2-ha C. lanceolata stand. Soil samples were collected from 0 to 10 cm depth in March 2011 to measure soil fauna diversity and abundance. The abundance and community composition of the soil fauna varied with gap size. In canopy cover sites, the number of individuals was 2.0 and 5.2 times greater than in the small gaps and large gaps. Three taxa (NematodaOribatida and Insecta) of soil invertebrates occurred commonly, and Nematoda dominated the communities in all three habitat types. The Shannon–Wiener diversity index, Margalef diversity index, and Pielou evenness index were high in the small gaps, indicating that they harbored the most species, with the most even distribution, and the highest diversity. Our results indicated that gap size apparently affected abundance and community composition of the soil fauna.

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