Effect of land cover on biodiversity and composition of a soil macrofauna community in a reclaimed coastal area at Yancheng, China


Abstract: Reclamation was considered the primary factor that caused coastal wetland loss in China. Along with land conversion, there were different types of land cover on the reclaimed coast. In early March 2012, we selected 5 habitats with different land cover from a reclaimed coastal area at Yancheng City that was diked about 30 years before, and the biodiversity and composition variations in soil macrofauna communities were studied. We found that higher biodiversity values appeared in the uncultivated land, the poplar forest, and the metasequoia forest, while lower values occurred in the wheat farm and bulrush land. By multivariate statistical analysis, significant differences in comparisons of soil macrofauna communities were detected, except for in the comparison between the poplar forest and the metasequoia forest. Our findings indicated that the biodiversity of macrofauna was significantly affected by habitat characters and the vegetation cover was strongly related to soil macrofauna distribution patterns and community composition in the reclaimed coastal area.

Keywords: Reclamation, coastal ecosystem, soil evolution, soil macrofauna, wetlands

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