Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1016/j.pedobi.2004.07.005
Title (Primary) Changes in collembolan species composition in Eastern German mine sites over fifty years of primary succession
Author Dunger, W.; Schulz, H.-J.; Zimdars, B.; Hohberg, K.
Journal Pedobiologia
Year 2004
Department BOOEK
Volume 48
Issue 5-6
Page From 503
Page To 517
Language englisch

Brown-coal opencast mining provides a virgin soil substratum at a scale of square kilometres that is open to primary succession. Focusing on this process, we investigated changes in collembolan species composition in a long-term study that lasted almost 40 years (1960–1998) at mine sites, afforested with deciduous trees. The geological overburden, which characterises the soil quality, consisted mainly of Pleistocene and Tertiary sands, interspersed with lignite and dark Tertiary loam and clay.

According to their appearance during the primary succession, we established eight colonising groups, representing 90 of 113 species found. Results from soil samples as well as from pitfall traps were taken into account for the definition of the groups. Thus, edaphic and epedaphic life forms were equally regarded. Generally, “initial”, “pioneer” and “woodland” groups were discernible.

Largest changes in species composition occurred during the first ten years, as indicated by decreasing species turnover rates and increasing alpha diversity. A comparison with other (essentially shorter) studies on Collembola of mine sites (12 in Europe, 3 in other parts of the world) showed that some pioneer species are cosmopolitan whilst others seem to be regionally specific. Important events in the ecosystem development of mine sites, as indicated by the collembolan community, are the first occurrence of other humiphagous soil animal groups, especially that of earthworms, followed by a disappearance of the ectohumus layer. The similarity between collembolan communities of mine sites and of adjacent native woodlands is greatest ten years after afforestation. Fifty years after afforestation, the collembolan community still differed markedly from that of native stands. Thus, a gradual development of the mine site collembolan communities to a comparable native woodland community is not evident from the data.

Persistent UFZ Identifier
Dunger, W., Schulz, H.-J., Zimdars, B., Hohberg, K. (2004):
Changes in collembolan species composition in Eastern German mine sites over fifty years of primary succession
Pedobiologia 48 (5-6), 503 - 517