Spatial distribution patterns of soil mite communities and their relationships with edaphic factors in a 30-year tillage cornfield in northeast China

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Date: June 28, 2018
From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 13, Issue 6)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 6,866 words
Lexile Measure: 1470L

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Abstract :

Spatial distribution is an important topic in community ecology and a key to understanding the structure and dynamics of populations and communities. However, the available information related to the spatial patterns of soil mite communities in long-term tillage agroecosystems remains insufficient. In this study, we examined the spatial patterns of soil mite communities to explain the spatial relationships between soil mite communities and soil parameters. Soil fauna were sampled three times (August, September and October 2015) at 121 locations arranged regularly within a 400 m x 400 m monitoring plot. Additionally, we estimated the physical and chemical parameters of the same sampling locations. The distribution patterns of the soil mite community and the edaphic parameters were analyzed using a range of geostatistical tools. Moran's I coefficient showed that, during each sampling period, the total abundance of the soil mite communities and the abundance of the dominant mite populations were spatially autocorrelated. The soil mite communities demonstrated clear patchy distribution patterns within the study plot. These patterns were sampling period-specific. Cross-semivariograms showed both negative and positive cross-correlations between soil mite communities and environmental factors. Mantel tests showed a significant and positive relationship between soil mite community and soil organic matter and soil pH only in August. This study demonstrated that in the cornfield, the soil mite distribution exhibited strong or moderate spatial dependence, and the mites formed patches with sizes less than one hundred meters. In addition, in this long-term tillage agroecosystem, soil factors had less influence on the observed pattern of soil mite communities. Further experiments that take into account human activity and spatial factors should be performed to study the factors that drive the spatial distribution of soil microarthropods.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A547840949