Impact of tropho-metabolic activity of earthworms (Lumbricidae) on distribution of soil algae within Acer platanoides L. plantation in recultivated territories of Western Donbass (Ukraine)

Abstract

O. Didur, Y. Kulbachko, Y. Maltsev

Rational use of natural resources in conditions of modern environmental management is an ongoing challenge to maintain sufficient level of wellbeing – natural resources and healthy environment in the contest of biodiversity preservation, formation of soil fertility, esthetic properties of landscapes and other ecologically important services. One way to optimize technogenic landscapes is forest recultivation – creation of stable forest ecosystems on disturbed territories, which can be powerful environmentcreation tool. The pertinent activity of animals – ecological engineers has great importance for improvement of ecological state of forest ecosystems on the recultivated territories. Soil engineers, such as earthworms, are the key organisms in functioning of soil – most important component of terrestrial ecosystem. They participate in various ecological processes and play key role in numerous ecosystem services: biogeochemical cycles support, forming of sustainable hydrological regime of territory and soil productivity, protection from the erosion. Additional natural soil biotic factor, multiplying these effects – algae, which reflect biogenic grade of soil and their naturalization in conditions of forest recultivation. Although, soil algae and earthworms are important components, supporting soil fertility, biogenic relationship of these groups of organisms, especially in the conditions of forest recultivation, remains largely unstudied The aim of the research is to evaluate the impact of pedotrubation and tropho-metabolic activity of earthworms (Oligochaeta: Lumbricidae) on resettlement of soil algaflora representatives within maple (Acer platanoides L.) plantation on the soil recultivation plot in Western Donbass in the Steppe zone of Ukraine. In fresh coprolites of earthworms Aporrectodea caliginosa on the studied plot, five species of soil algae (Chlorella vulgaris Beijerinck, Botrydiopsis eriensis Snow, Phormidium retzii (Agardn) Gomont, Bracteococcus sp., Chlorococcum pulchrum Archibald et Bold) were found. They belong to divisions Chlorophyta, C???nophyta, Xantophyta and represented by Ch- and P-living forms, which can dwell in artificial forest ecosystem with severehydrothermal conditions. Such representatives as Phormidium retzii, Chlorococcum pulchrum, Botrydiopsis eriensis were present only in soil and coprolites on the soil surface. This indicates their rise to the soil surface in result of tropho-metabolic and pedotrubation activity of worms. This allows considering that, earthworms in the studied plot of soil recultivation contribute to redistributions and resettlement of soil algae, their exploration to new territories, and ultimately – naturalization of artificial edaphotopes of forest plantations in recultivated lands.

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