ISSN 1067-4136, Russian Journal of Ecology, 2007, Vol. 38, No. 1, pp. 52–57. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2007.
Original Russian Text © K.B. Gongalsky, Zh.V. Filimonova, A.D. Pokarzhevskii, R.O. Butovsky, 2007, published in Ekologiya, 2007, No. 1, pp. 55–60.
Soil invertebrates are regarded as effective indica-
tors of soil pollution, which leads to changes in the
structure, biodiversity, and state of their population
(Gilyarov and Krivolutskii, 1971; Vorobeichik et al.,
1994; Edwards and Bohlen, 1995; Butovsky, 2001).
The soil as a whole is the environment for soil macro-
fauna, while inhabitants of soil pores and water ﬁlms
are sometimes more dependent on anthropogenic fac-
tors (Hopkin, 1989; Krivolutskii, 1994;
, 1997; Crawford et al., 2005).
Herpetobionts (carabid and staphylinid beetles and
spiders) as indicators of soil conditions or pollution are
usually considered separately from populations of soil
macrofauna, although they are connected with the latter
mainly as with food resources and, hence, reﬂect the
state of these resources to a greater extent than the state
of the soil environment. The lack of coincidence
between responses of different size groups of soil inver-
tebrates is explained by differences in the parameters of
pollution of their microhabitats (Filimonova et al.,
2000; Pokarzhevskii et al., 2003).
The purpose of this study was to analyze responses
to the same anthropogenic factor in populations of her-
petobionts and geobionts.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
The study was carried out between 1997 and 2000 in
the vicinity of the Kosogorsky Metallurgical Works
(KMP, Tula Region), which manufactures ferrous metal
products. Consequently, the main pollutants in indus-
trial emissions are Fe, Pb, Zn, Cu, and Cd, as well as
sulfur oxide. Test plots were established at different
distances from KMP on the transect extending south-
eastward, along and upstream along the Voronka River.
(0.4 km from KMP, the impact plot). Horn-
L.) forest with willow (
sp.), canopy density is 40%. Nettle (
and goutweed (
in the herbaceous layer. Soils are alluvial, but their
structure is markedly altered due to long-term deposi-
tion of slag dust settling from industrial emissions.
(3 km). Oak (
L.) forest with
sp.), elm (
L.). Canopy density is 50%.
The shrub layer consists mainly of honeysuckle
sp.). The soil is of the gray forest type.
(5 km). The tree layer consists of linden (
Mill.), birch (
L.), and oak (
L.); canopy density
is 90%. The shrub layer consists mainly of euonymus
Differences in Responses of Herpetobionts and Geobionts
to Impact from the Kosogorsky Metallurgical Plant
(Tula Region, Russia)
K. B. Gongalsky, Zh. V. Filimonova, A. D. Pokarzhevskii
, and R. O. Butovsky
Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences,
Leninskii pr. 33, Moscow, 119071, Russia; e-mail: email@example.com
Received February 28, 2005
—The inﬂuence of the Kosogorsky Metallurgical Plant (KMP; Tula region, Russia) on the abundance
and biodiversity of carabid beetles and soil macrofauna and on the trophic activity of soil biota was studied.
Metal concentrations in the impact plot were many times higher than those in the control plot located on the
same transect. As the transect approached KMP, both the abundance of soil invertebrates (geobionts) and
trophic activity of the soil biota remained unchanged, whereas the abundance and diversity of carabids (herpe-
tobionts) decreased drastically. It is suggested that the impact of the KMP on herpetobionts is accounted for by
modiﬁcation of the structure of ecosystems and that herpetobiontic and geobiontic groups of the macrofauna
respond differently to this impact because of differences in the ecological mechanisms of population response.
: pollution, macrofauna, soil animals, trophic activity, heavy metals, bait-lamina test, Carabidae
This paper is one of the last publications of Prof. Andrei Dmit-
rievich Pokarzhevskii, Dr. Sci. (Biol) (December 13, 1946–June 25,
2006), head of the Laboratory of Bioindication, Severtsov Institute
of Ecology and Evolution of the RAS. Pokarzhevskii was a leading
specialist in geochemical ecology, ecotoxicology, soil biology, and
radioecology. He is author of more than 400 publications.