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Recovery of soil macrofauna communities after forest clearance in Eastern Amazonia, Brazil

Abstract : As primary forest is cleared, pastures and secondary forest occupy an increasing space in the Amazonian landscape. We evaluated the effect of forest clearing on a soil macrofauna (invertebrate) community in a smallbolder farming system of southeastern Amazonia. We sampled the soil macrofauna in 22 plots of forest, upland rice fields, pastures, and fallows of different ages. In total, we collected 10, 728 invertebrates. In cleared plots the species richness per plot of the soil macrofauna fell from 76 to 30 species per plot immediately after forest clearance, and the composition of the new community was different. Ants, termites, and spiders were most affected by the disturbance. In plots deforested several years before, the effect of forest clearance was highly dependent on the type of land use (pasture or fallow). In fallows, the community was similar to the initial state. The species richness per plot in old fallows rose to 66, and the composition was closer to the primary forests than to the other types of land use. On the contrary, in the pastures the species richness per plot remained low at 47. In fallows, all the groups showed a richness close to that in primary forest, whereas in the forest only the richness of earthworms and Coleoptera recovered. Our results show that forest clearing constitutes a major disturbance for the soil macrofauna and that the recovery potential of the soil macrofauna after 6 or 7 years is much higher in fallows than in pastures. Thus, fallows may play a crucial role in the conservation of soil macrofauna
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J. Mathieu, Jean-Pierre Rossi, P. Mora, Patrick Lavelle, P.F.Das. Martins, et al.. Recovery of soil macrofauna communities after forest clearance in Eastern Amazonia, Brazil. Conservation Biology, Wiley, 2005, 19 (5), pp.1598-1605. ⟨10.1111/j.1523-1739.2005.00200.x⟩. ⟨hal-02681202⟩

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