The aim of the study was to analyse the impact of land use and altitudinal gradient including geological conditions on selected soil physical properties with subsequent effect on earthworms as important soil organisms. The research was conducted at three study sites (Očová – OC, Tajov – TA, Liptovská Teplička – LT) situated in the different climatic and natural conditions of Slovakia each with 3 plots differing in land use (arable land - AL, permanent grasslands – PG, forest land – FL). During 2014 over two periods, we measured soil penetration resistance (PR) with total depth of the measurement (DP) and soil moisture (SM). Earthworms were hand sorted counted and weighed. We found out high variability of measured parameters conditioned by time, space (altitudinal gradient) and land use. PR values of all measurements ranged from 0.19 to 5.00 MPa, DP values from 0.02 to 0.80 m and soil moisture from 2 to 50%. Paired samples test confirmed differences between different land use types mainly between AL and FL plots. There were confirmed significant differences between three ecological gradients in all observed properties with one exception. Correlations among observed variables under different altitudinal gradients and land use types were found. The earthworm density and biomass was significantly higher in permanent grasslands compared to forest and arable land. In arable land, the earthworm density and biomass negatively correlated with the penetration resistance and positively with the depth of the total measurements. In permanent grasslands earthworm biomass positively correlated with soil moisture.
Jana Júdová, Radoslava Kanianska, Jana JaĎuĎová, Miriam Kizeková and Jarmila Makovníková
Land use changes are local phenomena with global impact. They have an impact in a cumulative sense on biodiversity or soil degradation. This study aimed to examine the effects of different land-uses (arable land, permanent grasslands, abandoned grasslands, forest land) on the selected biotic and abiotic soil parameters in the Slovak mountain study sites Liptovská Teplička and Tajov. Biotic (microbial community structure, earthworm number and fresh body biomass, arthropod number and fresh body biomass), and abiotic chemical soil parameters (pH, total organic carbon, total nitrogen, nutrients) were measured. According to MALDI-TOF (Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization-Time of Flight), several bacterial strains were identified. Mutual relations between soil microorganisms and soil biotic and abiotic properties determined by different land uses were analysed. Microbial response expressed as average well-colour development (AWCD) values indicated relations between higher microbial diversity and higher nutrient availability at both study sites. In the comparison of land use types, permanent grasslands (PG) showed the lowest microbial activity in the depth of 0–0.1 m. But in the depth of 0.2-0.3 m in PG of both study sites, the higher microbial activity was recorded compared to the depth of 0-0.1 m. In addition, lower AWCD values in PG were in line with the lower available P and K content but higher earthworm density and biomass.