The number of soil mesofauna and enzymatic activity of soils are good indicators of changes in soil influenced by cultivation. The aim of this study was to compare density of enchytraeids and the activity of dehydrogenases (ADh), urease (AU), and invertase (AI) in the soils of grassland and arable land. Relationships that exist between those biological parameters and the basic soil properties (the content of total organic carbon (TOC) and nitrogen (TN), pH, texture, and total porosity) were defined. In the research, soil material from humus horizon of 12 soils which were located in the Mały Beskid and Silesian Foothills (S Poland) was used. The main density of enchytraeids in grassland soils (12 982 ind⋅m-2) was twice higher than in arable land soils (6099 ind⋅m-2), and the differences were statistically significant. Grassland soils were characterised by higher enzymatic activity than arable land soils. However, only ADh, which were almost three times higher in grassland than in arable soils (2024 and 742 μmol TPFkg-1h-1, respectively), showed significant differences. In grassland soils more favourable edaphic conditions for the development of soil organisms occurred in comparison with arable land.
The primary objective of this study was to characterise the edaphic conditions of forest areas in the Pieniny National Park (PNP), and to describe the dependencies between properties of forest soils and types of forest plant communities. The “Soil Trophic Index” (SIGg) for mountainous areas was applied. The evaluation of the trophism for 74 forest monitoring employed the soil trophic index for mountainous areas SIGg or SIGgo. Plant communities in the forest monitoring areas were classified according to the Braun-Blanquet’s phytosociological method. Soils of PNP present in the forest monitoring areas were mostly classified as eutrophic brown soils (72.9%), rendzinas (10.8%), brown rendzinas (5.41%), and rubble initial soils (5.41%). Pararendzinas, dystrophic brown soils, and gley soils were less common (total below 5.5%). In the forest monitoring areas of PNP, eutrophic soils predominate over mesotrophic soils. High SIGg index of the soils is caused by high values of acidity and nitrogen content. The Carpathian beech forest Dentario glandulosae-Fagetum and thermophilic beech forest Carici albae-Fagetum associations are characterised by high naturalness and compatibility of theoretical habitats. The soils of the Carpathian fir forest Dentario glandulosae-Fagetum abietetosum subcommunity is characterised by a higher share of silt and clay particles and lower acidity as compared to the Carpathian beech forest Dentario glandulosae-Fagetum typicum subcommunity. The soils of the forest monitoring areas in PNP stand out in terms of their fertility against forest soils in other mountainous areas in Poland.