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Diversity and Ecological Function of Soil Animals

Teng Ma


The biomass of soil invertebrates is usually less than 10% of the total biomass of soil organisms, but they are rich in species, with various feeding behaviors and life history strategies. There are complex interactions among soil animals and between soil animals and microorganisms. The ecological function of soil animals is mainly realized by feeding effect and non-feeding effect. The diversity of soil animals in different habitats decreased with the increase of soil depth. The changes of soil temperature, soil available P, organic matter and soil moisture are the main factors affecting the geographical distribution of soil animal diversity in Changbai Mountain basalt platform. Protozoa have a large number and rapid turnover, so the contribution of protozoa’ metabolic activity (i.e. feeding) to carbon and nitrogen mineralization can approach or even exceed that of bacteria. However, the metabolic process of most small and medium-sized soil animals contributes much less to the mineralization of carbon and nitrogen than that of soil microorganisms, but they can regulate the mineralization of carbon and nitrogen by feeding.


Soil Animals; Diversity; Wetland Ecology

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Shao Y, Zhang W, Liu S, et al. Diversity and function of soil fauna. Acta Ecologica Sinica 2015; 35(20): 6614–6625.

Cui W, Li W, Zhang M, et al. The study of ecological function of wetland soil. Chinese Agricultural Science Bulletin 2011; 27(20): 203–207.



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