Influence of anthills on fallow soils: a case study of Yaroslavskaya and Leningradskaya Regions
Nowadays large areas of arable soils are categorized as fallow soils. In this study we evaluate the influence of the ants Lasius niger on the structure and properties of different types of fallow soils and soils with different particle size distribution. Our studies show that ants play an important role in soilforming activity: the anthills and soils under it are characterized by the change of physical and chemical properties of the soil. These changes may occur both in the anthill (eg, pH increase in slightly acidic soils and a slight acidification in slightly alkaline soils, reduction of the organic carbon concentration) and in soils under anthills (a decrease of bulk density and increase of mobile phosphorus and potassium in all soil types). The study also shows that ant nests complicate the soil cover structure, with zoogenic revised microrelief appearing within the range of elemental soil in fallow soils of the Leningrad Region and within the Rostov Lowland. Under the influence of ants, the trend of soil changes shifts towards soil value increase.
ants, anthills, fallow soils, evaluation of soils
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