• DOI 10.31509/2658-607x-2020-3-2-1-20
  • УДК 592:574.42

Impact of earthworms of different morpho-ecological groups on carbon accumulation in forest soils

© 2020 г. 

A.P. Geraskina

Center for Forest Ecology and Productivity of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Profsoyuznaya st. 84/32 bldg. 14, Moscow, 117997, Russia

*E-mail: angersgma@gmail.com

Received 25.05.2020

Accepted 24.06.2020


To date, forest ecology has not made any clear conclusions regarding the impact of large invertebrate saprophages such as earthworms on soil carbon dynamics. Some authors state that earthworm activities result in decreased carbon accumulation. Other studies show that earthworms contribute to soil carbon accumulation. At the same time, many studies do not take into account the differences between trophic and digging activity of different morpho-ecological groups of earthworms in different soil horizons. The objective of this study was to carry out differentiated assessment of the impact of different morpho-ecological groups of earthworms on carbon accumulation and correspondent soil parameters (nitrogen content and С/N ratio) during the change in forest succession status. Field operations were performed in the spring and summer of 2016 and 2018 in three regions: Bryansk Oblast (Bryansk Polesie), Moscow Oblast (Moskva–Oka plain, Valuyevsky urban forest) and Northwest Caucasus (Krasnodar Krai, Apsheron forestry; Republic of Adygeya, Caucasian biosphere reserve). In each region, three main stages of coniferous-broad-leaved forest restoration after clear cuttings were identified. Three test plots 50х50 m were allocated for each stage; geobotanical and soil descriptions as well as earthworm calculations were carried out on each plot. It was found out that during the change in forest succession status the species composition and the set of morpho-ecological groups of earthworms became more complicated, but there was no successive replacement of any groups with others. Negative correlation was found between the total biomass of earthworms feeding on the soil surface (epigeic, epi-endogeic and anecic species) and litter store. In the litter horizon, the biomass of epi-endogeic species was negatively correlated with the content of organic carbon and C/N ratio, but positively correlated with the nitrogen content; in the humus horizon, it was positively correlated with the content of organic carbon and nitrogen and negatively correlated with the С/N ratio. Significant negative correlations were revealed between the biomass of endogeic earthworm species and C/N ratio in the humus horizon.

Key words: forest type, succession status, chronoseries, litter, nitrogen, C/N ratio, invertebrates-saprophages, biomass


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