Biodiv Sci ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (12): 22205.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2022205

Special Issue: 土壤生物与土壤健康

• Original Papers • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Dynamics of soil nematode community during the succession of forests in southern subtropical China

Wenjia Wu1,2,3, Ye Yuan1,2,4, Jing Zhang1,2,3, Lixia Zhou1,2,3, Jun Wang1,2, Hai Ren1,2, Zhanfeng Liu1,2,3,*()   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Vegetation Restoration and Management of Degraded Ecosystems / CAS Engineering Laboratory for Vegetation Ecosystem Restoration on Islands and Coastal Zones, South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650
    2. South China National Botanical Garden, Guangzhou 510650
    3. Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Guangzhou), Guangzhou 511458
    4. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
  • Received:2022-04-20 Accepted:2022-06-01 Online:2022-12-20 Published:2022-06-23
  • Contact: *E-mail:


Aims: The succession of southern subtropical forests can alter the composition of vegetation and soil environment, thus exerting a profound influence on soil biota. Consequentially, the changes in soil biota can then in turn influence the succession progress of the forest ecosystem. To date, the specifics related to the dynamics of soil biota during the succession of subtropical forests are not well understood. Here, we investigated the diversity and structural dynamics of the soil nematode community and associated it with environmental factors during the succession of forests (i.e., Pinus massoniana forest (PF)-mixed pine and broadleaf forest (MF)-monsoon evergreen broadleaf forest (MEBF)) in Dinghushan, Guangdong.
Methods: Soil samples from each forest were collected. The abundance, diversity, community composition, and ecological indices of soil nematode community as well as soil properties were analyzed and compared amongst different forests.
Results: (1) With the succession of southern subtropical forests, the α diversity of soil nematodes was significantly higher in MF and MEBF than that in PF; however, there were no significant changes in the total abundance of soil nematodes or the relative abundance of different trophic groups. (2) The enrichment index of soil nematodes in MF was significantly higher than that in PF, thus indicating higher soil fertility in MF, while the higher structural index in MEBF indicated a decreased disturbance degree of the ecosystem. (3) The soil moisture content and soil properties (excluding soil phosphorus levels) in MF were at the same level as that in MEBF while the soil pH was significantly lower than that in PF. The soil pH and soil moisture content were the predominant factors for the dynamics of the soil nematode community.
Conclusion: The responses of soil nematodes to vegetation succession are different in the abundance, diversity, and community composition, and the convergence of soil environment in the process of succession can explain the observed similarities in the nematode community between MF and MEBF.

Key words: southern subtropical forest, natural succession, diversity, soil nematode, soil health