Biodiv Sci ›› 2024, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (1): 23295.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2023295

• Original Papers: Animal Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of heterogeneous habitat on soil nematode community characteristics in the Songnen Plain

Shuhan Yang1(), He Wang1, Lei Chen1, Yingfei Liao1, Guang Yan2, Yining Wu1,*()(), Hongfei Zou1,*()   

  1. 1 College of Wildlife and Protected Area, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150040
    2 Heilongjiang Harahai Provincial Nature Reserve, Qiqihar, Heilongjiang 161023


Aims: Wetlands, as one of the three major ecosystem types, play a crucial role in buffering global climate change. Habitat heterogeneity is a dominant factor in the succession of plant communities and significantly influences the structure and composition of soil biological communities, thereby directly or indirectly enhancing the diversity of soil food webs.

Methods: To determine the impact of wetland habitat heterogeneity on the structure and function of soil nematode communities in the Songnen Plain, this study focused on five heterogeneous habitats in the region. These habitats were selected based on a preliminary investigation of plant community characteristics. In July 2022, soil nematode communities, vegetation, and soil environmental factors were surveyed within these habitats. Soil samples were collected using a five-point method and nematodes were extracted using an improved shallow dish separation-sucrose centrifugation technique, followed by morphological identification. The soil nematode community structure and diversity were analyzed based on species composition, individual density, diversity indices, and functional indices. Redundancy analysis and correlation analysis were employed to explore the relationship between nematode communities and soil physicochemical properties as well as vegetation characteristics.

Results: (1) Soil nematodes in the study area are mainly omnivores-predators and plant-parasites. The habitat of Leymus chinensis exhibits the highest number of soil nematode individuals, Shannon-Wiener diversity index (H'), and Margalef species richness index. The functional footprint of nematodes in the sample plot follows this order: Leymus chinensis > Carex schmidtii> Deyeuxia angustifolia > Puccinellia tenuiflora> alkali habitat. (2) The channel index of soil nematodes in the Deyeuxia angustifolia habitat is significantly lower compared to other habitats. Fungal channels dominate the soil decomposition process in this habitat while bacterial channels dominate in others. (3) The ANOSIM test results demonstrate that habitat heterogeneity significantly influence the composition of four nutrient groups and the overall nematode community. Pearson correlation and redundancy analysis reveal that total phosphorus, soil moisture content, soil pH, and the importance value of hygrophytes in vegetation are the primary environmental factors affecting the structure and composition of soil nematode communities.

Conclusions: Our research findings demonstrate that the habitat heterogeneity of the Songnen Plain has a significant impact on the community characteristics of soil nematodes. Specifically, the Leymus chinensis habitat stands out with the highest number of individuals, diversity, and richness of soil nematodes. Additionally, the stability of the Carex schmidtiiplot is expected to play a crucial role in enhancing the restoration and natural improvement of wetlands due to its stable food web. These findings contribute to a deeper understanding of the processes and functions of the underground ecosystem in the wetlands of the Songnen Plain.

Key words: soil nematode, vegetation type, community structure, Songnen Plain, habitat heterogeneity