The Effect of Different Land Uses on Soil Micro-arthropods and Soil Properties (Case Study: Cheharmaleh and Tolomeh Region, Ilam Province)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Water Resources, College of Agriculture, Ilam University, Ilam, Iran

2 Department of Plant Protection, College of Agriculture, Ilam University, 69315–516, Iran


Soil mesofauna have important role in different ecosystems by organic matter breakdown and improvement nutrient cycling. Different types of land uses through variations in inputs of organic matter contents affect soil mesofauna communities and their habitation. The aim of this project was to study the effect of three kinds of land uses including forest (oak trees), agriculture (wheat) and pasture (different pasture species) on population and diversity of the soil mesofauna and on physical and chemical properties of the soil in Cheharmaleh and Tolomeh region in Ilam province. According to the results, the kind of land uses have a significant effect (α = 0.01) on all soil chemical and physical properties, indicating the importance of different land uses on soil characteristics in the study area. The soil depth for the top (0-10 cm) and sub (10-30 cm) layers also showed a significant effect (α = 0.01 and 0.05) on most of the soil properties. For example, the soil depth had no significant effect on lime content (TNV) from chemical properties and SP or silt percentage from physical properties. Interaction of the soil depth and the land use had significant effect on pH and EC at 1% level and on P and K at 5% level. In contrast, this interaction had significant effect on some physical characteristics such as porosity and clay percentage at 1% level and on SP, FC, BD and the sand percentage at 5% level. With respect to arthropods in the soil mesofauna, 24 species and 15 different families from insects, mites and pseudo scorpions were identified and collected. There was a significant effect on the insects and mites of the soil mesofauna affected by the land use and soil depth factors. In addition, there was a significant effect on all arthropods orders by different land use and soil depth, with the exception of beetles order. Based on the soil mesofauna communities, the most density of the insects found in the top layer of the forest soil and the least one in the sublayer of the range soil. The most density of mites was found in the top layer of the forest soil and the least one in the sublayer of the agricultural soil. The most density of mites and collembolan communities were found in the top and sub layers of the forest soil.


Main Subjects

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