Response of nematode communities to reclamation of agricultural soils following degradation through brown coal strip-mining processes
The study assessed the impact on the soil nematodes during the first 3-years after reclamation of a brown coal mining area. Samples were taken from 5 fields: 1 year before excavation, right at the beginning of reclamation (Yr 0), and in fields 1, 2 and 3 years after reclamation. A total of 31 families of nematodes were recorded and the nematode community of field Yr 0 was significantly different from that of other four sampling sites. Nematode abundance decreased after excavation and then began to return to initial community levels at each of the three reclamation sites with bacterivore nematodes recovering faster than the fungivores, omnivore-predators or the plant parasites. A gradual but consistent regeneration of the nematode community to its original structure was seen from the beginning of sampling and this recovery process was detectable over the three successive years of experimentation. Open-pit mining, therefore, drastically disturbed nematode community structure initially but the community was able to recover and stabilized quickly after reclamation.
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