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Universitas Scientiarum

Print version ISSN 0122-7483


TULANDE-M., Esteban et al. Soil macrofauna in areas with different ages after Pinus patula clearcutting. Univ. Sci. [online]. 2018, vol.23, n.3, pp.383-417. ISSN 0122-7483.

In Andean high montane areas, the establishment of exotic tree forests changes the soil dynamics and its biodiversity. Soil macrofauna act as indicators of ecosystem successional processes, and may have an important role in ecological restoration processes after clearcutting exotic tree plantations. The aim of the present study was to understand how soil macrofaunal assemblies change in areas with different ages post clearcutting of Pinus patula, and to identify the soil physico-chemical variables that better explain these variations. The macrofauna in a high montane forest was evaluated along with that of three areas with different ages post clearcutting: 0, 2.5, and 5 years after clearcutting (Yac). The effect of soil physico-chemical variables on macrofauna abundance was also evaluated. Macrofauna composition changed after clearcutting. Macrofauna abundance, richness, and diversity were lower in the 0 Yac area than in the other areas. Moreover, the macrofuna similarity to the reference forest did not increase with the years after clearcutting. This is due to the changes in soil characteristics, triggered by clearcutting. Slope, temperature, bulk density, real density, loam, pH, P, Na and K were the soil variales with a positive effect on the macrofauna abundance. These physico-chemical variables should be considered when designing restoration plans for Andean forest ecosystems. Moreover, Diplopoda, Coleoptera and Chilopoda might be useful to monitor and evaluate restoration processes after Pinus spp. clearcutting, because of their high abundance, diversity and relationship with environmental conditions.

Keywords : Andes; tropical montane forest; restoration ecology; soil macrofauna.

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