Effects of caragana korshinskii litter on soil arthropod community in a desertified region

An Ning Zhang, Ren Tao Liu, Jia Nan Liu, Juan Zhao, Hai Tao Chang, Wei Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Using the litterbag method, we investigated community structure of soil arthropods during litter decomposition in microhabitats with different sizes (very small, small, medium, and large) of Caragana korshinskii shrubs in Yanchi County of Ningxia, northern China. The results showed that litter remaining mass, P content, K content, and soil electrical conductivity significantly increased with increasing shrub size (P<0.05), whereas litter cellulose content, lignin content, and soil pH were not different among shrubs with different sizes. In total, 18 families of arthropods belonging to 10 orders were captured. Tydeidae, Tenerifidae, Oribatida, and Hypogastruridae were the dominant groups, occupying 67.4% of the total individuals. There were four common groups, occupying 27.3% of the total abundance. The remaining 10 groups were relatively rare, only accounting for 4.9% of the total abundance. Soil arthropod community composition in shrub litter was significantly different among the four types of shrub microhabitats, highlighting the sensitivity and adaptability of soil arthropods to the changes of litter microhabitats. Simpson dominance index of arthropods significantly increased with the increasing size of C. korshinskii shrubs (P<0.05), whereas total abundance, group number, Shannon diversity index, evenness index, and richness index of soil arthropods did not significantly differ among the shrubs with different sizes. Total abundance, group number and diversity index were closely correlated with soil electrical conductivity, litter remaining mass, lignin content, cellulose content, and P and K contents (P<0.05). It was concluded that variations of litter remaining mass and quality (lignin content) with the increasing size of C. korshinskii shrubs could result in a large change in soil arthropod community composition. The increasing size of shrubs promoted the aggregation of soil arthropods, with significant increases of Simpson dominance index but minor effects on group number and other diversity indices in the desertified region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2383-2391
Number of pages9
JournalChinese Journal of Ecology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 10 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 editorial Board of Chinese Journal of Ecology. All rights reserved.


  • Arid aeolian sand region
  • Caragana korshinskii
  • Community structure
  • Litter decomposition
  • Shrub size
  • Soil arthropod


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