ISSN 10674136, Russian Journal of Ecology, 2010, Vol. 41, No. 1, pp. 67–70. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2010.
Original Russian Text © K.B. Gongalsky, Zh.V. Filimonova, A.S. Zaitsev, 2010, published in Ekologiya, 2010, No. 1, pp. 70–73.
The spatial distribution of soil animals is an impor
tant parameter of their populations that depends on
both internal (community structure, abundance, and
individual parameters) and external factors (biotic and
abiotic). Among the latter, industrial pollution plays a
major role. In the past decade, the problem of micros
cale heterogeneity in the distribution of animal com
munities and pollutants in the soil has been considered
in a number of publications (Vorobeichik, 2007; Rob
ertson et al., 1993; Fenoglio et al., 2007). In many
cases, their authors employ geostatistics operating
with spatially dependent data (for reviews, see Ettema
and Wardle, 2002; Pokarzhevskii et al., 2007).
Soil animals avoid areas polluted above the back
ground level (Loureiro et al., 2005; Amorim et al.,
2005; Fenoglio et al., 2007). As shown in experiments
with microcosms (Salminen and Sulkava, 1996), soil
animals populating a defaunated and patchily polluted
soil area proved to concentrated in sites with the lowest
pollution level. However, it is fairly difficult to reveal
such effects in the field, since soil animal communities
have a complex spatial structure.
To analyze the relationship between the distribu
tion of animal populations and certain relevant fac
tors, Perry and Dixon (2002) proposed the method
named Spatial Analysis by Distance Indices (SADIE).
The purpose of this study was to estimate whether the
patchy patterns of soil animal abundance and heavy
metal concentrations coincide in the soil polluted by
emissions from the Kosogorsky Metallurgical Plant
(KMP, Tula oblast).
The material was collected in the vicinity of KMP
in May 2007. The main pollutants in emissions from
the plant are Fe, Pb, Zn, Cu, Cd, and sulfur oxides.
Since the KMP has been in operation since the late
18th century, the level of chronic pollution in the sur
rounding area is significant (van Straalen et al., 2001).
A simultaneous analysis of the spatial distribution of
soil animals and heavy metals contents in the soil was
performed in the impact zone, 400 m from the plant.
The herbaceous layer in this area consisted of couch
), chicory (
), yarrow (
), and sagebrush (
m plots located 100 m apart were
established at a distance of 50 m from the Voronka
River. In each plot, 25 soil samples were taken in a
square grid pattern, at 5m intervals, with a soil borer
9.8 cm in diameter (sample area 76 cm
, depth 15 cm)
and placed in individual plastic bags. Thereafter, soil
invertebrates were handsorted in the laboratory and
identified at the family level. Each sample was also
analyzed for the following parameters: the weight of
the litter, soil (fraction < 2.0 mm), and stones
; and waterholding capacity
(WHC) (Arinushkina, 1970).
An Xray fluorescent analysis was used to deter
mine the concentrations of watersoluble forms of
major metal pollutants in the study area (Cd, Mn, Fe,
Cu, and Zn), since soil animals are sensitive mainly to
watersoluble forms of heavy metals rather than to
their total concentrations (van Gestel, 1992). Water
extracts were prepared according to Arinushkina
Statistical analysis was performed with the Statis
tica 6.0 program package. The mean value and stan
dard error were calculated for each parameter. The
effect of spatial heterogeneity of pollution on soil
invertebrates was estimated by means of SADIE,
which allowed us to compare the spatial positions of
clusters with similar values of parameters. Both the
initial data and those smoothed by the sliding window
Relationship between Soil Invertebrate Abundance
and Soil Heavy Metal Contents in the Environs
of the Kosogorsky Metallurgical Plant, Tula Oblast
K. B. Gongalsky
, Zh. V. Filimonova
, and A. S. Zaitsev
Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences,
Leninskii pr. 33, Moscow, 119071 Russia;
Tula State Pedagogical University,
ul. Lenina 125, Tula, 300026 Russia
Received March 28, 2008
: industrial pollution, macrofauna, soil animals, heavy metals, spatial heterogeneity, SADIE.