Biodiv Sci ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (6): 793-801.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2015121

• Original Papers: Animal Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The responses of soil protozoan communities to Quercus aquifolioides: recovery after cutting and growing season dynamics

Lingjuan Li1,2, Qinli Xiong1,2,3, Kaiwen Pan1,*(), Lin Zhang1,*()   

  1. 1 Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041
    2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
    3 College of Life Sciences, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610064
  • Received:2015-05-07 Accepted:2015-08-20 Online:2015-11-20 Published:2015-12-02
  • Contact: Pan Kaiwen,Zhang Lin


The eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is fragile but offers important ecological services. Because of frequent cutting, local biodiversity is seriously threatened. This makes ecological recovery from logging become a research hot spot. Protozoa as a biological indicator in ecological restoration plays an important role. In this paper, we selected four types of Quercus aquifolioides forests (mature stands, clearcuts for secondary growth aged 20 years, 10 years and 1 year) to study the alteration of soil physicochemical properties and protozoa quantity along different months during growing season. The main results showed that: (1) The amount of flagellates in the second growth forests within 10 years (193 ind./g dry soil) and within 1 year (164 ind./g dry soil) were significantly higher than that in the mature stands (22 ind./g dry soil), while the amount of amoebae was the most in the second growth forest within 1 year (600 ind./g dry soil). Ciliate quantities increased gradually along with the recovery after clearcuts. (2) Protozoa community quantities first showed a significant increase and then decrease with months during the growing season, the abundance of flagellates reach a peak in July, the amount of amoebae was largest in August and ciliate abundance was much greater in the other three months than June. (3) The amount of protozoa closely related to soil physicochemical properties. The amount of flagellates were positively significantly correlated to pH (P = 0.019), ciliate quantity was positively correlated with amino nitrogen (P = 0.002) and C/N ratio (P = 0.022), and amoebae quantity was negatively correlated with nitrate nitrogen (P = 0.008) and C/N ratio (P = 0.016). The results suggested a great fluctuation of protozoa communities in the growing season affected by soil physicochemical properties. Ciliates communities showed a positive response, while flagellate and amoebae showed a negative response, to the recovery of Quercus aquifolioides forest after cutting.

Key words: Quercus aquifolioides forest, cutting, growing season, biological indicator, soil protozoan