Rentao Liu, Fan Zhu, Hui An, Yosef Steinberger. Effect of naturally vs manually restored management on ground-dwelling arthropod communities in desertified regions. Ecological Engineering, 2014, 73:545–552. (SCI)DOI:10.1016/j.ecoleng.2014.09.092
Bothnaturallyandmanuallymanaged restoration can effectively improve degraded ecosystems; however, little is known about the optionofrestorationmanagementfor the recoveryofground-dwellingarthropodcommunitiesindesertifiedregions.Naturallyrestoredgrassland (termed here "grassland") andmanuallyafforested shrubland (termed here "shrubland") were comparedinrelation toground-dwellingarthropodcommunities; the adjacent mobile sand land was used as a control. Both typesofrestoration markedly improved soil and herbaceous properties, with the grassland characterized by high plant herbaceous richness and abundanceinaddition to low soil temperature, and the shrubland characterized by high soil fine-sand content and clay-plus-silt content as well as low coarse-sand content. Restorationmanagementindifferent habitats resultedinthe specific distributionofarthropodgroups, with the Labiduridae and Anatolicas (Tenebrionidae) dominantinthe mobile sand land and the Formicidae dominant at bothrestoredsites. Total abundance was correlated with the dominant taxa, even for the Simpson index; both were significantly higherinthe mobile sand land thanintherestoredsites, while no significant differences were found between the two typesofrestoration. Restorationmanagementfacilitatedground-dwellingarthropoddiversity, including taxon richness, with markedly higher valuesintherestoredsites compared with thoseinthe mobile sand land. Furthermore, taxon richness and Shannon index were noticeableinthe shrubland, with significantly higher values thaninthe grassland. Soil temperature, water content, and bulk density together explained the different structureofground-dwellingarthropodcommunitiesat each site where therestoredprocedures were implemented. Overall, themanuallyafforested shrubland was found to contribute much more to the conservationofground-dwellingarthropoddiversity relative to thenaturallyrestoredgrassland, where bothrestoredstrategies were used to facilitate the processesoffixation and recoveryofdesertifiedsand land.