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Spatial analysis of biodiversity soil macrofauna in Populus deltoides plantation of northern forests of Iran

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Information about the spatial patterns of soil biodiversity and understanding the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem processes are limited. This study was conducted to determine whether biodiversity of soil macrofauna features demonstrate spatial patterns in the Populus deltoides plantation in north of Iran. 150 soil samples were taken using a grid sample of 40 × 40 m. Soil macrofaunawere sampled by digging and hand sorting two 50 × 50 cm areas into a depth of 20 cm in each treatment.Abundance (the number of macrofauna) diversity (Shannon-Weiner index), richness (Menhinick index) and evenness (Smith–Wilson index) were calculated using geostatistics (variogram) in order to describe and quantify the spatial continuity. Some soil chemical and physical properties were determined. The variograms of variable revealed the presence of spatial autocorrelation. The range of influence was 710.9 m for abundance, 650.3 m for diversity, 720.90 m for richness and 410.9 m for evenness. The kriging maps indicated that the soil macrofauna have spatial variability. Moreover, the spatial pattern of macrofauna biomass is similar to the pattern of clay and pH of soil.

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