Pedosphere 31(3): 391--397, 2021
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2021 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Community structure of Lumbricidae in beech woodland of the Bieszczady National Park, Southeast Poland
Anna MAZUR-PĄCZKA1, Grzegorz PĄCZKA1, Joanna KOSTECKA1, Kevin R. BUTT2, Marcin JAROMIN3, Mariola GARCZYŃSKA1, Agnieszka PODOLAK1
1University of Rzeszów, Faculty of Biology and Agriculture, Department of Natural Theories of Agriculture and Environmental Education, 1a Cwiklinskiej St., Rzeszów 35-959 (Poland)
2University of Central Lancashire, Forensic and Applied Sciences, Preston PR1 2HE (UK)
3Rzeszów University of Technology, Faculty of Chemistry, Department of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, 6 Powstancow Warszawy Avenue, Rzeszów 35-959 (Poland)
Corresponding Author:Anna MAZUR-PĄCZKA
      As ecosystem engineers, earthworms play a key role in the soil environment. However, due to increasing anthropogenic pressure, soil organisms, including earthworms, are being threatened by habitat loss. In this study, we undertook a qualitative and quantitative investigation of earthworms of the family Lumbricidae in four types of Carpathian beech woodland (Fagetum carpaticum), characterized by their understory vegetation (I, F. c. festucetosum drymejae; Ⅱ, F. c. typicum; Ⅲ, F. c. lunarietosum; and IV, F. c. allietosum), in the Bieszczady National Park (Eastern Carpathians, Southeast Poland). At each investigated site, soil monoliths (25 cm×25 cm×25 cm) were examined by hand sorting. Earthworms were expelled from deep soil layers using a weak formalin solution (0.4%). Depending on the phytocoenosis, 7 species of Lumbricidae were identified at each of the sites I, Ⅱ, and Ⅲ and 10 at site IV. Site IV (F. c. allietosum) differed significantly (P<0.05) from the other three sites with respect to earthworm biomass (59.71±39.53 g m-2) and the Shannon-Wiener diversity index (0.52±0.12). Although present three decades ago, the deep-burrowing species Octodrilus transpadanus and the litter-dwelling species Dendrobaena octaedra were not found at site IV in the present study. We suspect that these two species may have been displaced by the invasive Lumbricus terrestris, which was not found at the same site in the 1980s. Such observations warrant further investigation to verify the predicted effects of an invasive earthworm, including the potential effects on soils and other fauna and flora, which have been documented in numerous countries.
Key Words:  beech forest,earthworm,invasive species,Shannon-Wiener diversity index,species diversity,species dominance
Citation: Mazur-Pączka A, Pączka G, Kostecka J, Butt K R, Jaromin M, Garczyńska M, Podolak A. 2021. Community structure of Lumbricidae in beech woodland of the Bieszczady National Park, Southeast Poland. Pedosphere. 31(3): 391-397.
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