Collembola can be among the most numerous meso-invertebrates in the forest floor and, through their interaction with primary decomposers in the decomposition food web, may affect litter decomposition and consequently site productivity. This study was conducted to determine whether Collembolan abundance could be impacted by organic matter removal, compaction, and vegetation control on a loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) plantation. Monthly soil and litter samples were taken over 2 years and the fauna extracted from them using modified Tulgren funnels. Organic matter removal and vegetation control generally caused a significant decrease in Collembolan populations, while compaction did not significantly affect Collembolan populations. These results indicate that habitat was the primary influence on population abundance in this experiment, possibly via its influence on desiccation. Sensitivity of collembolan populations to habitat changes caused by organic matter removal indicates a potential effect on long-term site productivity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Soil Science