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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Nematode and Microarthropod Communities: Comparative Use of Soil Quality Bioindicators in Covered Dump and Natural Soils

CRISTINA MENTA, ALAN LEONI, MARIKA BARDINI, CIRO GARDI, AND FABIO GATTI1

Department of Evolutionary and Functional Biology, University of Parma, Parma, Italy

Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Parma, Parma, Italy
 

Reclaimed waste disposal sites usually have problems regarding soil quality. Their topsoil is generally affected by physical, biological and sometimes chemical degradation. These conditions in turn affect both site plant and animal communities and, in a more general sense, the effectiveness of the restoration process itself. The site’s fauna, either inherited with the soil or established after its introduction, has a community complexity defined by the structure of the soil: generally the more structured the soil, the more complex the community. There exists a relevant number of fauna bioindicators that can be used to evaluate soil quality and monitor the restoration process. We have used two bioindicators to compare our research results: the Maturity Index (MI), based on the nematode population and the Soil Biology Quality (QBS-ar) index, based on soil microarthropods. These indicators were applied to the topsoil of a reclaimed waste disposal site and to wild grassland and wood soils.


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