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Study of soil fauna as quality bioindicator in urban forest fragments

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Natália Nunes Patucci
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH/SBD)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Déborah de Oliveira; Carlos Roberto Espindola; Jose Pereira de Queiroz Neto
Advisor: Déborah de Oliveira

Soil quality is related to its functioning and is measured by physical and chemical indicators, but also by organisms inserted therein, which play the most diverse ecosystem functions. The diversity of soil macrofauna in ecosystems can be affected by many factors, due these organisms being sensitive to environmental changes. The research evaluated the quality of urban forest fragments soils in São Paulo, specifically in Cientec, Cantareira and Jaraguá parks, using earthworms as bioindicators. It was performed at study sites a concentrated collection in winter (09/2014, 10/2014), in dry and wet environments, in order to assess the diversity, occurrence, biomass and density of individuals collected in accordance with variations in environment ,especially with soil temperature, soil depth, presence and absence of the drainage portion and chemical attributes such as , pH, O.C, K, Ca, Mg and Al. Delimited randomly, in a dry and humid environment a fixed area of 1.7 hectare per plot sample, where was sampled nine TSBF per environment, with spacing of 30 m between each point and 20 m margin, totaling 54 sampling points. Exemplary subsurface pedofauna were captured by adapted TSBF technique (Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility) consisting of monoliths 30x30 wide and 30 cm deep. After the soil screening the specimens were fixed in 92% alcohol solution and subsequently measured statistically by the diversity index, equability, and biomass; finally, were identified to species level, earthworms, and the family level and genus, the arachnida, coleoptera, quilopoda and diplopoda classes. In the same points of TSBF soil samples were collected for analysis of chemical attributes, as well as climate data were used for evaluation of physical attributes, which served as explanatory environmental variables. About the climatic attributes in the analyzed months, the monthly rainfall did not reach 70 mm and, in general, was below the climatological average, featuring an extremely dry period. It was found a positive correlation between soil temperature, functional ecological diversity, vertical distribution in the soil, feeding habits and dynamics of bioturbation of earthworms. Soil moisture directly influenced the frequency Ind.m², besides favoring specific genus and species. In the analysis of chemical parameters, the reduction of soil acidity, increased O.C. content and the high nutrient availability influenced the increase of Ind.m² which explains the 159 ind.m² in dry conditions and 148 ind. m² in a humid environment for the Jaraguá park, representing 46% of all copies of the collection TSBF. The Cientec and Cantareira park had more acidic and lower rates of soil organic carbon and macronutrients if compared to the Jaraguá park, totaling 24% and 30% of the collected specimens. The biostatisticians indexes pointed out that the worms were prevalent in both density (earthworms.m²) and biomass (g.m²), among all the soil macrofauna collected in contrasting environments and sites and confirmed that chemical soil and climatic variables have greater relevance to explain the diversity, occurrence, biomass and density of earthworms and consequently the ecosystem functions performed by them. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 13/17014-4 - Evaluation of edaphic macro fauna as potential bio-indicator of soil quality in urban forests remnants in São Paulo city - Cientec, Cantareira and Jaraguá Parks
Grantee:Natália Nunes Patucci
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Master