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Table of Content
    Volume 30 Issue 12
    20 December 2022
    Diverse soil animals. The pictures presented from left to right, from the upper to the lower panels are: Vertagopus laricis, Gastrothrips acutulus, Semicerura draconis, Cyphogenia chinensis, Macroposthonia sp., Pterocoma loczyi, Messor desertus, Allosuctobelba grandis, Amynthas corticis. (Photoed by Xiaofang Du, Jibao Jiang, Dong Liu, Jiliang Liu, Jun Wang, and Zhijing Xie) (Designed by Xin Sun and Donghui Wu)
    Soil animal biodiversity: Taxonomy and community ecology
    Donghui Wu, Shenglei Fu
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (12):  22680.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022680
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    Original Papers
    Species composition and phylogenetic analysis of earthworms on Hainan Island
    Qi Zhao, Jibao Jiang, Zenglu Zhang, Qing Jin, Jiali Li, Jiangping Qiu
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (12):  22224.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022224
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    Aim: Because of its unique paleogeographical history and geographical location, Hainan Island is a major diversity hotspot in China. Previous research has shown that the earthworm fauna on Hainan Island is distinctive, and migration between Hainan Island and mainland China has occurred. However, how the earthworm fauna on this island formed is still unknown. Thus, this study aims to: (1) systematically assess earthworm diversity and their geographical distribution on Hainan Island; (2) improve understanding of the differentiation and dispersal of earthworms on Hainan Island using phylogenetic analysis.
    Method: First, we collected earthworms on Hainan Island, especially from nature reserves, between 2006 and 2009 either by digging by hand or using an electric machine. We used both morphology and molecular techniques to identify earthworm species. Then, the molecular phylogenetic analysis was conducted using 5 mitochondrial genes—COI, COII, ND1, 12S rRNA and 16S rRNA using MEGA 5, jModelTest 2.1.10 and MrBayes 3.2.7. Their ancestral distribution area was reconstructed, and their differentiation time was speculated using the RelTime method and GTR model.
    Results: (1) There were a total of 122 earthworm species, including 103 endemic species, belonging to 9 genera and 6 families. Megascolecidae is the dominant family, and all of the Hainan earthworms in this family belonged to pheretimoid species. The number of species varied by altitude, initially increasing before decreasing at higher altitudes. The highest number appeared in the altitude range of 800‒1,000 m. (2) The changes of genetic distance of the Hainan pheretimoid earthworm in species, subspecies and population levels were basically the same as those on mainland China. The shortest genetic distances appeared between Amynthas scitulus* and A. zonarius at the species level. The genetic distance between subspecies Metaphire magna magna and M. magna minuscula was close to that between two species. Furthermore, the genetic distances between A. homosetus populations were comparable to those at the subspecies level. (3) The pheretimoid earthworms of Hainan Island could be grouped into 7 clusters. The results suggested that they may have originated from the Diaoluo Mountain about 68.26 Ma years ago. All the earthworms appeared in the Cenozoic era.
    Conclusion: Our results suggest that the earthworm fauna on Hainan Island including their composition, geographical distribution and genetic distances are unique, which indicate that they are affected by the environmental factors, such as altitude. This study not only provides information on earthworm biodiversity in China, but also serves as a reference for future genetic analyses of earthworms on islands.

    The composition of the community structure of oribatid mites in subtropical forests of different tree species: A case study of Xingangshan, Jiangxi Province
    Yannan Chen, Cheng Liang, Jun Chen
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (12):  22334.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022334
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    Aims: Global environmental change leads to increasing biodiversity loss, and soil animal communities are among the most species-rich components of terrestrial ecosystems. One of the most important biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiments was designed in subtropical China (referred to as BEF-China). Here, we investigate the change of oribatid mite community structures in different tree species forests (site A and site B) of BEF-China.
    Methods: Soil samples from BEF-China were collected from September 2019 to April 2022. The abundance, diversity, community structure, and ecological indices of oribatid mite communities as well as environmental factors were analyzed and compared between forests with different tree compositions.
    Results: We found that, (1) the community structure of oribatid mites in each forest was significantly different. The relative abundance of Oppiidae, Lohmanniidae, Oribatulidae, and Microzetidae was higher in site A than site B; and the relative abundance of Scheloribatidae, Tectocepheidae, and Trhypochthoniidae was higher in site B than site A. (2) There were different seasonal dynamics of oribatid mite communities among the four seasons. In site A, the abundance, species richness, and Shannon diversity of oribatid mites in summer and autumn were markedly lower than those in spring and winter. However, the diversity of oribatid mites in spring and autumn were similar in site B. (3) There were distinct correlations between oribatid mite communities and environmental factors. And yet, different oribatid mite species have varied responses to indicated factors.
    Conclusion: The results highlight that oribatid mite community structures are impacted by aboveground plants. This research provides a reference for future researchers to help understand the biotic interactions between soil oribatid mites and plants.

    Community characteristics of macroinvertebrates in woody debris in a subtropical forest in Badagongshan, China
    Fan Li, Dangjun Wang, Xiaoyuan Lin, Kang Ji, Luping Ye, Chao Huang, Yong Zheng, Mao Zhun, Juan Zuo
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (12):  21476.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021476
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    Aims: Woody debris provides essential habitat and food resources for macroinvertebrate communities and greatly impacts soil macrofauna biodiversity. Little is known about how features of woody debris are associated with soil macroinvertebrate communities, especially for subtropical forests. This study aims to investigate the effects of tree species, diameter classes, and decomposition stages of woody debris on the composition and structure of macroinvertebrate communities.
    Methods: We sampled the woody debris of three tree species (Sassafras tzumu, Fagus lucida, and Cryptomeria fortunei), crossed with two size classes (10 ± 2 cm and 4 ± 2 cm in diameter) at different decomposition stages in the subtropical forests of the Badagongshan National Nature Reserve, Hunan, China, from October to November 2020. Then, macroinvertebrates in the sampled woody debris (i.e., taxonomical groups and number of individual) were inventoried for community composition.
    Results: (1) A total number of 2,558 individuals belonging to 4 phyla, 10 classes, and 23 orders were found throughout the study. The dominant groups, common groups, and rare groups of macroinvertebrates differed in preferred tree species. (2) The individual density of macroinvertebrates in the woody debris of Fagus lucida was significantly higher than that in Cryptomeria fortunei and Sassafras tzumu. For Fagus lucida and Sassafras tzumu, the Shannon-Wiener diversity index of macroinvertebrates was significantly higher in large-diameter woody debris than that in small-diameter debris. The number of total groups and specialist groups of invertebrates in large-diameter wood debris were more than those in small-diameter woody debris. The Shannon-Wiener diversity index, Simpson dominance index, and Pielou evenness index of macroinvertebrates in woody debris were significantly and negatively correlated with wood density, indicating shifted macroinvertebrates communities in woody debris with the progress of decomposition. (3) The physical and chemical properties of woody debris (e.g., relative moisture content, total nitrogen, total carbon, and carbon nitrogen ratio), soil temperature and soil humidity were significantly correlated with the characteristics of macroinvertebrate communities in woody debris.
    Conclusion: Our results highlight that the characteristics of macroinvertebrate community are different depending on the effect of tree species, diameter classes, and decomposition stages of woody debris. Preserving woody debris of both large and small diameter classes and those of different tree species in the subtropical forest can increase the biodiversity of macroinvertebrates.

    Dynamics of soil nematode community during the succession of forests in southern subtropical China
    Wenjia Wu, Ye Yuan, Jing Zhang, Lixia Zhou, Jun Wang, Hai Ren, Zhanfeng Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (12):  22205.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022205
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    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.

    Effects of precipitation regime on the structure of soil micro-food web in the grassland of northern China
    Yushan Xiao, Changrao Yang, Guo Zheng, Pengfeng Wu, Shixiu Zhang, Shuyan Cui
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (12):  22208.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022208
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    Aims: Due to global climate change, precipitation regimes in arid and semi-arid regions are exhibiting a trend of increase in rainfall intensity with a reduction in frequency. These changes in precipitation patterns can affect belowground communities and ecosystem functions. However, previous studies mainly focused on the effects of precipitation amounts on soil micro-food web, the changes of precipitation intensity and frequency on soil micro-food web were relatively few, especially in ecosystem function.
    Methods: We performed a field experiment initiated in 2012 to examine the effects of changes in the precipitation regime (i.e. precipitation intensity: 2 mm, 5 mm, 10 mm, 20 mm, and 40 mm). Microbial communities were determined by phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) and high throughput sequencing (16S and ITS). The composition and structure of the nematode community was determined by morphological identification.
    Results: Different precipitation intensities significantly affected soil fungal PLFA, which was highest under the 20 mm treatment. Furthermore, fungal diversity had different responses to precipitation intensity treatment. The abundance of nematodes in each trophic group responded differently to precipitation intensity, and the abundance of bacterivores increased monotonically with the increase in precipitation intensity (P = 0.012). The abundance of fungivores (P < 0.001) and plant parasites (P = 0.046) were both significantly higher in medium (10 mm), high (20 mm) and extrem precipitation intensities (40 mm) than in low precipitation intensities (2 mm and 5 mm). Different precipitation intensities significantly affected soil nematode diversity. All the diversity indices were the highest under medium and high-intensity precipitation (10 mm or 20 mm). The soil nematode community composition was similar between moderate precipitation intensity (10 mm) and extreme precipitation intensity (40 mm). Changes in precipitation patterns increased soil water content, fungal PLFA, and fungivore diversity, thus improving ecosystem multifunction.
    Conclusion: High precipitation intensity promoted fungal PLFA in the northern temperate steppe, while moderate precipitation intensity promoted microbial diversity. The abundance of nematodes increased with precipitation intensity, and the diversity of nematodes was highest under moderate and high precipitation intensity. The changes in soil micro-food web further affected ecosystem multifunction, mainly through increasing fungal biomass, abundance of fungivores nematodes, and nematode diversity.

    Effects of soil macro- and meso-fauna on the decomposition of cattle and horse dung pats in a semi-arid steppe
    Jianwei Cheng, Yadong Wang, Yanan Wang, Ying Li, Ying Guo, Zheng Bai, Xinmin Liu, Frank Yonghong Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (12):  22575.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022575
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    Aims: Soil fauna as the key component of terrestrial ecosystems, playing an important role in decomposition of animal dung, mineralization of organic matter and turnover of soil nutrients. Many studies have been done on the soil fauna’s effects on plant litter’s decomposition. Still, less information is available on their impact on the decomposition of animal dung.
    Methods: Here we conducted a field experiment in a temperate semi-arid steppe ecosystem to investigate the effect of the different soil fauna groups with different body sizes on the decomposition of horse and cattle dung pats on the soil surface over a one-year period. The experiment had five treatments: CK, soil only, no dung nor soil fauna; T0, dung pat covered with a wire-mesh-cage of 0.425 mm holes (excluding dung beetles and soil meso-fauna); T1, dung pat covered with a wire-mesh-cage of 1 mm holes (excluding dung beetles); T2, dung pat covered with a wire-mesh-cage of 2 mm holes (excluding tunneler dung beetle); T3, exposed dung (with no exclusion of soil fauna).
    Results: We found that (1) compared with dung only (excluding dung beetles and soil meso-fauna) treatment (T0), the presence of soil fauna (T1, T2 and T3) did not enhance the dry mass loss of livestock dung during the first 60 days of the experiment; in contrast, in the presence of all soil fauna (T3) significantly increased the dry mass loss of cattle dung but decreased that of horse dung at the end of the experiment (at day 360). (2) Soil fauna also enhanced the decline rate of carbon and nitrogen content in dung during the first 60 days of the experiment. (3) Dung addition increased the soil microbial respiration, and the increase was most obvious in the presence of soil fauna (T3) on days 15 and 30 of the experiment. (4) Compared to the soil with no dung (CK), the soil with horse dung had higher contents of soil available N, soil organic carbon and soil moisture, and the contents were higher in the presence of soil fauna (T2 and T3); whereas the soil with cattle dung had no changes.
    Conclusion: We conclude that the feeding and activities of dung beetle in the early stage of dung decomposition alter the physicochemical properties of dung, which indirectly affect the role of soil biota in the decomposition in the later stage.

    Dynamic change of ground-dwelling beetle community in a gobi desert of the middle of Hexi Corridor and its influencing factors
    Yongyi Lin, Yongzhen Wang, Yilin Feng, Wenzhi Zhao, Junwei Gao, Jiliang Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (12):  22343.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022343
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    Aims: The purpose of the study is to further understand the species/genus composition and activity rhythms of ground-dwelling beetles of gobi.
    Methods: From January to December during 2018 and 2020, the number of individuals and species of ground-dwelling beetles in a gobi desert of the Hexi Corridor were continuously observed with pitfall traps, and the climatic elements of the region were observed.
    Results: (1) Ground-dwelling beetles of the gobi were composed of 21 species from 5 families, including carabid, chrysomelid, curculionid, geotrupid and tenebrionid, and Microdera kraatzi alashanica, Blaps gobiensis and Lethrus potanini were the dominant species; (2) The activity rhythm of ground-dwelling beetles in gobi had obvious seasonal variations. The activity period of ground-dwelling beetles were from March to October, the activity density of ground-dwelling beetles peaked in April to July, and the species richness of ground-dwelling beetles peaked in May; (3) The activity density of ground-dwelling beetles increased significantly in 2019 with increased precipitation, and the species richness and diversity index of ground-dwelling beetles decreased significantly in 2018 with decreased precipitation; (4) The type of feeding and individuals size of ground-dwelling beetles affected their activity rhythm. The years of increased precipitation increased the activity density of the curculionid of phytophagous and some species of the tenebrionid, and the response of the activity density of some species of tenebrionid showed a certain hysteresis with precipitation; (5) The change of precipitation and temperature strongly affected the activity rhythm of ground-dwelling beetles. The number of individuals and species of ground-dwelling beetles had a significant quadratic and exponential relationship with monthly average precipitation and temperature. The response of phytophagous and predatory beetles to the change of precipitation and temperature were more sensitive than those of beetles of saprophagy, the response of large beetles to the change of precipitation were more sensitive than those of medium and small beetles.
    Conclusion: The change of precipitation and temperature affect the activity rhythm of gobi ground-dwelling beetles, and the responses of different ground-dwelling beetle species to them are different due to their different physiological and ecological characteristics, which affect the dynamic changes of the ground-dwelling beetles communities.

    Effects of ant nest microhabitats on the diversity of soil macrofauna in gobi ecosystems
    Yilin Feng, Yongzhen Wang, Yongyi Lin, Wenzhi Zhao, Junwei Gao, Jiliang Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (12):  22282.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022282
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    Aims: Harvest ant nests are an important microhabitat in gobi ecosystems that greatly affect the distribution and diversity of animals and plants by enhancing litter and improving the soil environment. This study analyzed the distribution pattern and influencing factors of soil macrofauna diversity between ant nest and adjacent bare ground microhabitats.
    Methods: We investigated the assemblage of soil macrofauna in gobi Messor desertus ant nests and adjacent bare ground microhabitats using pitfall traps in May, June, and October 2020.
    Results: (1) The community composition of soil macrofauna differed between ant nest and adjacent bare ground microhabitats and showed obvious seasonal variations. Soil macrofauna communities of ant nests and adjacent bare ground differed significantly in October, with an average dissimilarity of 62.9%. Slight differences were also observed in May and June, with 34.8% and 39.3% average dissimilarity, respectively. (2) The activity density and groups richness of soil macrofauna were significantly higher in ant nests than in adjacent bare ground microhabitats in June; the groups richness and diversity index of soil macrofauna communities were also higher in ant nests in October, and the evenness index of soil macrofauna communities was significantly lower in ant nests than bare ground microhabitats in May. (3) Ant nests significantly increased the activity density and groups richness, which increased the interactions between predatory and non-predatory soil macrofauna and altered the interactions between Messor desertus and some soil macrofauna groups. (4) pRDA showed that soil electrical conductivity, total nitrogen, and silt content were the main soil factors driving the distribution of soil macrofauna communities between ant nest and adjacent bare ground microhabitats.
    Conclusion: Messor desertus ant nests increased the diversity of soil macrofauna communities and altered the trophic and non-trophic relationship among soil macrofauna groups, which affects the trophic structure and ecological function of soil macrofauna communities.

    Latitude distribution and associated environmental factors of soil nematodes in a typical black soil region
    Ping Liu, Hongwen Liu, Miao Zhang, Yan Gao, Mengting Zhang, Aizhen Liang, Shixiu Zhang
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (12):  22269.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022269
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    Aims: Northeast black soil is one of the most important agricultural resources in China. Understanding the spatial distribution of nematode communities as well as their influcing factors is of great importance for ensuring food security in China.
    Methods: In September 2018, 31 farmland sampling sites were selected across the black soil region within the bounds of 42°50°-49°08° N, and 93 soil samples were collected. Soil nematode communities were identified by morphological identification.
    Results: A total of 47 nematode genera (relative abundance > 1%) were identified. Across all samples, the bacterivores nematode Acrobloides was the most abundant (relative abundance > 5%). Species richness and abundance of nematode communities increased with latitude, but only among bacterivores and omnivores/predators nematodes. Soil organic carbon was the most important environmental factor affecting richness and abundance of soil nematodes in a typical black soil region, followed by monthly mean temperature. Soil nematode community structure in this region was divided into two categories: south and north, with a boundary at 47° N separating the two groups. This division was attributed mainly to the differences in the relative abundance of plant parasitic and omnivorous/predatory nematodes between the two areas. Soil pH value and bulk density were the most important factors influencing community structure in the south and north, respectively.
    Conclusion: This study clarifies the relationship between environmental factors and nematode community structure, as well the geographical distribution of nematode communities in a typical black soil region. As such, it provides basic data and reference for the mechanism driving the character of soil biota under agricultural interference.

    Spatial distribution pattern of soil mite community and body size in wheat- maize rotation farmland
    Jiahuan Sun, Dong Liu, Jiaqi Zhu, Shuning Zhang, Meixiang Gao
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (12):  22292.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022292
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    Aims: Using an agricultural soil permanent plot, we wanted to reveal the spatial distribution patterns of soil organisms and functional diversity, as these are important metrics for maintaining soil organism diversity and improving agricultural soil quality.
    Methods: In October 2020, 210 soil samples were collected from a large permanent farmland soil plot (9 ha) in Shangqiu, Henan Province. Soil mites were extracted by Tullgren’s funnel method in the laboratory. The soil mites were identified to species and their body length and width were measured to illustrate both the spatial distribution pattern of species diversity as well as body size of soil mites in wheat-maize rotation farmland.
    Results: (1) A total of 17,256 adult mite individuals were captured, of which oribatid mites were the dominant group (94.67%). Results of MGP analysis showed that the oribatid mite community belonged to P-type, indicating that it was strongly affected by human factors. Niche breadth and overlap analysis showed that for higher degrees of evolution, niche width of oribatid mites increased, and for closer degrees of evolution, oribatid mites experienced greater competition. (2) Values of Moran’s I index showed that from 20 m to 100 m, the individuals of dominant soil mite community were significantly positively correlated with body length and body width; yet from 220 m to 300 m, individuals of soil mite community and four dominant species had a negative spatial autocorrelation. A semi-variance function showed that the spatial variation of species, individual number, body length and width of oribatid mites were mainly affected by deterministic processes, while the spatial variation of mesostigmatid mites was affected by both deterministic and stochastic processes. (3) There was a weak negative correlation between the individual number of soil mites and body length and body width, which generally exists in each community and dominant species of soil mites.
    Conclusion: This study suggests that the spatial pattern of species and functional diversity represented by mite body length and width should be considered when evaluating maintenance mechanisms of soil mite community and for protecting the diversity of soil mites.

    Seasonal variation in cropland soil nematode community composition in the lower reaches of Liaohe Plain
    Xiaotong Liu, Yijia Tian, Hanwen Liu, Cuiying Liang, Siwei Jiang, Wenju Liang, Xiaoke Zhang
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (12):  22222.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022222
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    Aim: The managements in farmland in lower reaches of Liaohe Plain, such as long-term cultivation, fertilizer and agrochemicals application on cropland have led to soil degradation, environmental pollution and the decline of productivity, which inevitably have an impact on soil biological health. Therefore, we investigated the seasonal variations of soil nematode community composition to explore the effects of field artificial management measures on the abundance and diversity of soil nematode community.
    Methods: Soils from cropland and abandoned cropland (as controls) were collected in the National Field Observation and Research Station of Shenyang Agroecosystems in the spring (May), summer (July), autumn (September) and winter (November) of 2019. Soil nematodes were identified and the corresponding ecological indices were analyzed.
    Results: The results showed that the total abundance of soil nematodes was significantly higher in abandoned cropland than that in cropland soils, but no significant differences were observed among four seasons. Seasonal variation mainly influenced the abundance of soil free-living nematode individuals, with the highest abundance occurring in September. Seasonal variation also significantly affected the number of soil nematode genera, which was the lowest in November (non-growing season). Compared to the abandoned cropland, farmland management significantly reduced the abundance of soil nematodes including omnivores-predators and fungivores.
    Conclusions: In cropland, the soil food web was relatively stable, whereas abandoned cropland was more susceptible to seasonal variations, and its soil food web was moderately disturbed.

    Nematode response to long-term fertilization in purple soil
    Huiling Hu, Zhiyuan Yao, Shibin Gao, Bo Zhu
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (12):  22189.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022189
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    Aims: Soil nematodes are abundant in agroecosystems and are sensitive to edaphic environmental changes, they can be used to assess soil health under different field management conditions. This study aims to investigate the effects of long-term fertilization and soil aggregation patterns on nematode community distribution and functional diversity in purple soil.
    Methods: Five fertilization treatments were established: no fertilizer (control, CK), chemical fertilizer alone (NPK), biochar + chemical fertilizer (BCNPK), commercial pig manure + chemical fertilizer (OMNPK) and straw + chemical fertilizer (RSDNPK). Soil particle sizes were categorized as: bulk soil, large macroaggregates (> 2 mm) and small macroaggregates (0.25-2 mm).
    Results: Fertilization increased the number of soil nematodes compared to the CK with a minimum increase of 66% under the NPK treatment group. Soil treated with a combination of organic and chemical fertilizers exhibited an increase in nematode abundance of 206%. The relative abundance of nematode groups was consistent across treatments: bacterivores > omnivores/predators > plant parasites > fungivores. However, omnivores/predators and bacterivores populations in small macroaggregates were smaller and larger, respectively, than populations associated with other soil particle categories. Community structure and enrichment index values increased in the RSDNPK group, and the nematodes’ functional footprint varied across treatments.
    Conclusions: The application of a combination of organic and chemical fertilizers (especially RSDNPK) can increase soil nutrient supply capacity and help establish stable and healthy soil ecosystems, supporting the development of sustainable local agriculture.

    Community characteristics of soil collembola around a typical mercury-thallium mining area in Guizhou Province
    Siyao Liu, Zhu Li, Xin Ke, Lina Sun, Longhua Wu, Jiejie Zhao
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (12):  22265.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022265
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    Aims: Many mining activities can lead to heavy metal pollution in soils near mining areas, leading to negative consequences to the native soil biota. In particular, mercury, thallium, and other heavy metals are highly toxic, but the related ecological risks are rarely studied. As an indicator of soil environmental change, collembola species can be used to assess soil quality.
    Method: The study was conducted in an agricultural field near a mercury-thallium mining area in Guizhou Province. Four sampling areas were established according to different pollution levels and crop types, with two crops in each area and three sampling plots for each crop, in order to study the community structure and diversity of soil collembola and its influencing factors.
    Results: The mean density of collembola across sampling areas was 12,000 ind./m2. The closer a sampling area was to the mining area, the higher level of soil heavy metal pollution and the higher comprehensive pollution index. Generally, collembola species richness, density, and the diversity and richness index initially increased, but then decreased thereafter. Analysis of environmental factors showed that mercury, thallium, and arsenic had a significant negative effect on the community structure of collembola species: Folsomides americanus, Isotomiella minor and Protaphorura encarpatus.
    Conclusion: High organic matter content could mitigate the effects of heavy metals on soil collembola. However, in this study there was no significant difference between maize and coix seed on soil collembola community structure. The results of this study indicate that soil organic matter could mitigate the effects of heavy metal pollution on the soil collembola community.

    An overview of new taxa of Oribatida all over the world from 2020 to 2021 and new species of China in recent 15 years—Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Chinese Oribatology
    Xue Pan, Dong Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (12):  22193.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022193
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    Aims: Oribatid mites, with large numbers and rich diversity, are one of the three main groups of soil animals. Up to 2020, the recorded oribatid mite species in China represented only 7.6% of all known species in the world. However, the species diversity has generally not been scientifically evaluated, highlighting a big gap between known species and its actual number. To commemorate the 100th anniversary for the birth of Chinese Oribatology, this study aims to summarize the new taxa of Oribatida worldwide from 2020 to 2021, and new species in China from 2007 to 2021.
    Methods: We catalogued new Oribatida taxa in the world from 2020 to 2021, and new species of Chinese oribatid mites from 2007 to 2021 based on the described taxa and published literature. We also analyzed the biodiversity information provided by those new taxa, such as geographical distribution, author contributions and publications.
    Results: From 2020 to 2021, a total of 238 new taxa of Oribatida were described globally, including 21 new genera and new subgenera, and 217 new species. Hotspots for new taxa discovery were in the Ethiopian, Oriental and Neotropical realms. The new taxa described were contributed by 27 authors, most of whom were non-Chinese scholars. All papers were published in non-Chinese journals, with most publications in the journal Systematic and Applied Acarology. From 2007 to 2021, a total of 183 new species of oribatid mites were described in China, but no new family and new genus were published. The hotspots for new species discovery were in the southeast, southwest and adjacent areas. The new species described were contributed by 24 authors most of whom were Chinese authors. Papers were mainly published in international journals, with Systematic and Applied Acarology and Zootaxa being the main journal.
    Conclusions: Based on the above results, it shows the limited research power studying on Oribatida, and highly uneven distribution of newly discovered species among families and regions. Opportunities and challenges will continue to coexist in the development of classical taxonomy.

    An overview of Collembola species along altitudinal gradients in Changbai Mountains
    Zhijing Xie, Yunga Wu, Xin Sun
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (12):  22405.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022405
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    Aim: This study summarizes the taxa of Collembola along altitudinal gradients in the Changbai Mountains.
    Methods: Based on the taxonomic and ecological literature published from 1758‒2022, we overview Collembola along altitudinal gradients in the Changbai Mountains. Moreover, we analyze the biodiversity information provided by the 92 species, such as author contributions, publications, date of publication and distribution of species along altitudinal gradients.
    Results: A total of 92 species of 3 orders, 11 families and 46 genera from the Changbai Mountains are summarized. The orders of Entomobryomorpha, Poduromorpha and Symphypleona accounted for 61%, 31% and 8% of Collembolan diversity, respectively. The family Isotomidae (the number of species in this group accounts for all Collembola, 26%), Entomobryidae (16%) and Tomoceridae (16%), and Onychiuridae (26%) are the main taxa in the region. The 92 species were first reported by 36 authors, with Chinese authors making the dominant contribution (33%), followed by Poland (11%), Sweden (11%), Russia (8%) and the United States (8%). Most of the relevant papers were published in international journals, with Zootaxa being the main journal. Species of Tomocerus and Folsomia had the widest distribution along the altitudinal gradients (800‒1,700 m above sea level), and the most species distributed at 800 m (15 species), 1,100 m (20 species) and 1,400 m (14 species).
    Conclusion: Based on the above results, we discussed the taxonomic status and development prospects of the taxonomy of Collembola in the Changbai Mountains.

    Taxonomy, species diversity and distribution patterns of fungus-feeding Phlaeothripidae in China
    Jun Wang, Chao Zhao
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (12):  22128.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022128
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    Aims: Fungus-feeding Phlaeothripidae species are important components of soil invertebrates. They will contribute to the studies of biodiversity conservation and utilization, plant protection and zoogeography. Current studies on the taxonomic diversity of these species in China are insufficient, and on influence factors of distribution patterns in large scale are still unclear. Based on the extensive field surveys from China and the taxonomic studies about specimens deposited in some collections of research institutions at home and abroad, we generated a Chinese checklist of known fungus-feeding Phlaeothripidae species with their geographical distribution, summarized the current status and brief history of the taxonomy, analyzed the distribution patterns of species diversity and their drivers.
    Progress: A total of 237 species of fungus-feeding Phlaeothripidae thrips were recorded in China, including 156 species from 39 genera in subfamily Phlaeothripinae and 81 species from 22 genera in subfamily Idolothripinae. Four genera were the dominant with each more than 10 species, including Bamboosiella, Psalidothrips, Apelaunothrips and Holothrips. Of these 73 species were endemic to China. More than 60 species were recorded from each province of Guangdong, Taiwan, Hainan and Yunnan, where had both tropical and subtropical humid monsoon climate characteristics and were suitable for survival of these organisms. Relative abundance analysis indicated that they were a common group of soil animals in forest litter layer of tropical and subtropical areas. Annual average temperature, precipitation and foods were the main factors for restricting the geographical distribution of these thrips.
    Prospects: The results provide evidences on broadening the research field of soil biodiversity and explaining the position and large-scale spatiotemporal pattern of fungus-feeding thrips.

    Technology and Methodology
    Performance evaluation of molecular taxonomy assignment tools for soil invertebrates
    Cong Xu, Feiyu Zhang, Daoyuan Yu, Xin Sun, Feng Zhang
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (12):  22252.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022252
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    Aims: Soil invertebrate communities are of extremely high diversity but still poorly studied in DNA-based diversity assessments. Since traditional morphological identifications have trouble in completing thousands of taxonomy assignments accurately with limited time, more and more biodiversity surveys turn to molecular taxonomy assignments. To promote biodiversity surveys on soil invertebrates, we made a comprehensive comparison for five popular taxonomy assignment tools (VSEARCH, HS-BLASTN, EPA-NG, RAPPAS and APPLES) targeting on different molecular markers (COI, 16S and 18S). Four soil invertebrate groups (Collembola, Acari, Clitellata and Chromadorea) were selected in the comparison representing three representative phyla of varied body-sizes.
    Methods: The databases of four soil invertebrate groups using three molecular markers were built with a filtering step. The commands of five taxonomy assignment tools were integrated into a script which would finally output the taxonomic information of query sequences. All of assignment accuracy, running speed and memory usage of five tools were estimated and compared.
    Results: Our results indicated that EPA-NG performed best in accuracy for most cases, especially for COI. VSEARCH and HS-BLASTN remained high accuracy and showed similar accuracy performance when utilizing 16S and 18S markers. Moreover, shorter running time and lower memory usage made VSEARCH more popular applying in 16S and 18S than EPA-NG. RAPPAS and APPLES showed unstable performances in accuracy and were often too conservative to identify some species at generic or familial levels.
    Conclusion: This study concluded that molecular taxonomy assignment could accomplish identifications of soil invertebrates in an accurate and efficient manner. COI marker is the most recommended marker applied in molecular taxonomy assignment for soil invertebrates because of its abundant repositories of reference sequences reflected in all of species, genus and family levels. When COI is utilized as marker, EPA-NG is the most recommended tool unless the reference database is too large. When 16S or 18S is utilized as marker, VSEARCH is most highly recommended.

    Application of high-throughput sequencing technique in the study of nematode diversity
    Yixin Sun, Yingbin Li, Yuhui Li, Bing Li, Xiaofang Du, Qi Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (12):  22266.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022266
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    Background & Aims: Soil nematode diversity is one of the hot topic in soil ecology research. However, in-depth studies on soil nematode community composition and diversity are limited by the established taxonomy and methodology. At present, the development of molecular biological techniques has elevated our understanding of the diversity of soil nematodes, but it also included set-backs. This paper summarizes the research progress in molecular biology technology, including denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP), quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) and high-throughput sequencing (HTS) technology, and the advantages and disadvantages of high-throughput sequencing in nematode research. We elaborate these techniques based on the extraction of soil nematode DNA, the selection of primers and reference databases, as well as the comparison between high-throughput sequencing and morphological identification analysis.
    Prospects: The selections of soil nematode DNA extraction methods, in combination with proper primers and reference databases remain the key point to study nematode diversity. When focusing on nematode classification, we recommend DNA extraction after enrichment of nematodes suspension. Conclusively, researchers can then select the optimal combination to conduct experiments according to their research objectives.

    Advances in earthworm genomics: Based on whole genome and mitochondrial genome
    Junjie Zhai, Huifeng Zhao, Guangshen Shang, Zhenjun Sun, Yufeng Zhang, Xing Wang
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (12):  22257.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022257
    Abstract ( 407 )   HTML ( 14 )   PDF (11190KB) ( 382 )   Save
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    Background & Aims: Earthworms, which are known as the ecosystem engineers of the soil, are highly diverse and distributed worldwide. They are used as indicators of soil health. They are highly adaptable to their environment, and their genomes have evolved through the process of adaptation. In this paper, recent research progress of the whole genome and mitochondrial genome of the earthworms are reviewed.
    Progresses: The sequencing, assembly and analysis of earthworm genome lay a foundation for the study of earthworm ecology, molecular toxicity mechanism of pollutants to earthworm, molecular mechanism of immune defense, earthworm regeneration and so on. The mitochondrial genome is mostly used in the study of molecular phylogeny of earthworms. Currently, various types of earthworm species have been identified based on mitochondrial genome sequencing.
    Prospects: This paper highlights the following aspects of research that should be focused in future studies: (1) Carry out the studies on comparative genomics, evolutionary genomics and functional genomics using the existing whole genome sequencing results of the four species earthworms; (2) Improve the gene libraries and expressed sequence tags of different species of earthworms; (3) Strengthen the association analysis between mitochondrial genome and whole genome with the species diversity of earthworm.

    Effects of urbanization on soil fauna community structure and diversity
    Haifeng Yao, Saichao Zhang, Huayuan Shangguan, Zhipeng Li, Xin Sun
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (12):  22547.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022547
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    Background & Aims: Urbanization threatens biodiversity on local to global scales, and soil fauna is an essential component of soil biodiversity and play a vital role in the maintenance of soil health and ecosystem functions in cities. In recent years, many studies previously focused on the structure and diversity of urban soil fauna communities that have made significant progress to understand their complex relationships. However, systematic summaries and discussions are still limited.
    Progress: This review advances our knowledge in these areas by drawing upon current urban soil biodiversity studies with relevant broader research on soil fauna. From these works, we summarize the major pathways by which urbanization affects the community composition and diversity of soil fauna and highlight ecological processes that potentially threaten the persistence of soil fauna in cities.
    Prospects: We recommend that future studies should focus on (1) the impact of urbanization on gut microbiomes of soil fauna and how it relates to changes in soil fauna functions, (2) the environmental determinants to the structures and functions of soil food webs in urban ecosystems, and (3) the role of soil fauna in the regulation of human pathogens. Ultimately, our review provides a relevant scientific basis for biodiversity protection and maintenance of soil health and ecosystem stability in cities.

    Research progress on the biodiversity and ecological function of soil protists
    Baomin Yao, Qing Zeng, Limei Zhang
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (12):  22353.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022353
    Abstract ( 459 )   HTML ( 11 )   PDF (1018KB) ( 487 )   Save
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    Background & Aims: Protists are widely distributed in soil and throughout different habitats with high abundance and diversity. They play important roles in nutrient cycling and the energy flow of ecosystems, as well as maintaining soil and plant health. Compared with other microorganisms and fauna in soil, protists have received little attention until recently, and the study on their classification and molecular detection are largely challenged due to their complex taxonomy systems and ecological types.
    Progresses: This review systematically summarized and sorted out previous research on soil protists. The research progress on the taxonomic systems of protists, properties of different trophic functional groups, the distribution pattern, and the influencing factors of soil protists were summarized. Then the ecological functions of protistan communities in participating in soil nutrient cycling and maintaining soil health were further highlighted. The main factors that drive the construction of protistan community was clarified, and the prospect and application prospect were further put forward.
    Prospects: The future perspectives and research efforts towards taxonomic classification, biodiversity, ecological function, and applications of soil protists need to be explored.

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