Differential responses of ground-active arthropod abundance and diversity to shrub afforestation in heterogeneous textured soils in desertified grassland ecosystems, North China

Rentao Liu, Zhixia Guo, Yosef Steinberger

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2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Shrub afforestation is an effective way for restoration of soil communities and desertification control in desertified regions. However, little is unknown about how heterogeneous textured soils influence the effectiveness of shrub afforestation on the activities and diversity of ground-active arthropods. In the present study, ground-active arthropods were examined by pitfall trapping as well as by herbaceous performances and soil properties investigated in two shrub microhabitats (the shrub canopy and open spaces) in afforested sandy soil and sandy loam soil of northwestern China. The adjacent shifting sandy land, not covered by shrub plantations, served as a control. Total abundance in the open spaces in afforested sandy soil was significantly (p < 0.05) higher than those in the shrub canopy microhabitats in the same soil type and was also higher than those in both shrub microhabitats (open space and shrub canopy) in afforested sandy loam soil. A consistently (p < 0.05) greater taxa richness and the Shannon index as well as taxa richness of trophic groups (phytophages and predators) was found in shrub microhabitats in both soil types compared to the shifting sandy land. However, no significant differences (p > 0.05) were observed in taxa richness, Shannon index, and the Simpson index of ground-active arthropods, and in the abundance and richness of both trophic groups among the four shrub microhabitats in both soil types. In conclusion, soil textural heterogeneity in terms of soil type had a significant effect on the abundance, but not on the biodiversity distribution and trophic relationship, of ground-active arthropods between shrub microhabitats. The facilitative effect of shrubs benefited a stable biodiversity distribution and thus a stable trophic relationship within ground-active arthropod communities through afforestation practices, regardless of soil type.

Original languageEnglish
Article number154631
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume829
DOIs
StatePublished - 10 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.

Funding

This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Ningxia Province (Grant numbers 2020AAC02014 ; 2021AAC03047 ), Ningxia Key Research and Development Program (Grant numbers 2021BEG03007 ), and National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant numbers 41867005 ). The authors thank all the members of Research Team of Biodiversity and Global Changes for their helps with the field and laboratory work. Thanks are extended to Dr. Esther Guggenheimer-Furman and Elsevier language editing service for English editing and helpful comments.

FundersFunder number
Key Research and Development Program of Ningxia2021BEG03007
National Natural Science Foundation of China41867005
Natural Science Foundation of Ningxia Province2020AAC02014, 2021AAC03047

    Keywords

    • Biodiversity conservation
    • Desertified region
    • Ground-active arthropod
    • Shrub plantation
    • Soil type
    • Trophic group

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