Diversity of Soil Invertebrate Communities near the Gohagoda Dumping Site and Udawattakele Forest Reserve in Kandy, Sri Lanka

T.W.G.F.M. Nijamdeen, K.C. Weerakoon, G. Ellepola

Abstract


Soil faunal activity is essential for the functioning of all terrestrial ecosystems. Soil fauna are

important in physical and chemical transformation of litter, maintenance of soil fertility and

sustained productivity. By-products of human activities affect the proper functioning of the

soil fauna with a concomitant decrease in long term soil productivity. The fauna could be

used as early indicators of changes brought about in soil properties by pollutants. In Sri

Lanka studies of this nature are lacking and even baseline data against which changes could

be measured are not yet available. A field experiment was set up in Kandy in two forest areas

near the Gohagoda dumping site and the Udawattakele forest reserve area to investigate the

soil and leaf litter invertebrates.

 

The soil invertebrate fauna was extracted in both sampling sites by using NaCl floatation

method and Baermann funnel. The leaf litter invertebrates were extracted using the Tulgren

funnel. Collembola, Acarina and Nematoda were the dominant phyla in both forests

accounting for more than 80% of the total individuals. The Udawattakele forest area had the

highest taxon and individual numbers of invertebrates. It shows that according to the Tulgren

funnel method, Udawattekele area has high species diversity by both Shannon and Simpson

indices which is significantly higher (<0.001). The results of Bearmann funnel method

showed that it has higher diversity values for Udawattekele than Gohagoda. Overall

Udawattekele has a high diversity and evenness than that of Gohagoda area.

 

This comprehensive analysis of invertebrate diversity shows that they may be used as

possible indicators of soil quality. They should also be considered as a resource that needs to

be properly managed to enhance ecosystem services.

 

Keywords: Soil invertebrates, Diversity, Gohagoda, Udawattakele


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Proceedings of International Forestry and Environment Symposium, Sri Lanka. Published by Department of Forestry and Environmental Science, University of Sri Jayewardenepura