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Comparative Influence of Anthropogenic Factors on the Composition, Trophic Structure and Density of Mesofauna

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K.V. Dorokhov, V.P. Shelukho, G.A. Kisternyy

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The study of indicators of soil mesofauna complexes of pine forests in the European part of Russia is of great interest and important in view of the insufficient knowledge of the mesofauna reaction on different types and intensity of human impact. We evaluated the in-fluence of fires, forestry activity and recreational using of forests (year-round walking activ-ity in the accessible and attractive forest areas) on the parameters of the functional and bio-coenotic complexes of soil mesofauna by the standard soil and zoological methods in condi-tions of homogeneity of silvicultural and taxation indicators of plantations. We established  the highest degree of decrease in the total settlement density of epigeo- and geobiont mesofauna for the European subzone of broad-leaved forests as a result of the strong stable surface fires. The reduction of total settlement density and a form, intensity of wood log-ging, stage of recreational degradation are interconnected. The degree of reduction in the number of systematic groups of mesofauna under the influence of a single type or combined types of human impact is determined. The number of systematic groups of mesofauna de-creases as a result of all the studied effects, especially under the influence of ground fires and subsequent clear felling. The analogy in the conclusions of native researchers and the results of the study of the problems abroad is demonstrated. We studied the trends in the structure changes of trophic classes in the gradient of impacts. The active participants of the litter degradation – saprophages – reduce the participation in the complex of soil mesofauna under all types of human impact. A settlement density of most mesofauna taxonomic groups is reducing; the changes in the density of major groups in each trophic class are revealed; the mesofauna species composition is evaluated. Unlike fires and logging, the recreation increases ?-diversity. The research results can be used in an environmental monitoring and planning of forest management activities.


K.V. Dorokhov, Postgraduate Student V.P. Shelukho, Doctor of Agricultural Sciences, Professor G.A. Kisternyy, Candidate of Agricultural Sciences, Associate Professor


Bryansk State Engineering Technological Academy, S. Dimitrov ave., 3, Bryansk, 241037, Rus-sian Federation; е-mail:,,


soil mesofauna, settlement density, trophic structure, species diversity, wood logging, forest fires, recreation.


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Received on September 07, 2015

Comparative Influence of Anthropogenic Factors on the Composition, Trophic Structure and Density of Mesofauna


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