Geological and Environmental Engineering | Conference paper | Published 2011

Soil Free-living Nematodes as Indicators of Soil Contamination in Central Asian Industrial Areas

Authors:

Stanislav Pen-Mouratov

Michael Kersten

Yosef Steinberger

Keywords: Bioindicator, Heavy metal, Industrial pollution, Nematode, Soil

Abstract

The effect of industrial pollution on soil free-living nematode communities was investigated in the Almalyk and Angren industrial areas, Uzbekistan. Soil samples were collected from the upper soil layers in downwind directions from the emission sources of the industrial sites. Soil nematode communities were exposed to heavy metal influence both directly and through soil property changes. The nematode communities and their trophic diversity, sex structure, and taxon composition were found to be affected by the variety and concentration of chemical elements. Pollution effect on the density and biomass of soil free-living nematodes was found to be greatest at the pollution source, with fungivores and plant parasites dominant at the upper and deeper soil layers next to the pollution source in the Almalyk industrial area, while in the Angren industrial area, the fungivores were dominant next to the pollution source, with plant-parasites being least abundant at the same sites. The sex ratio of nematode communities was found to be dependent on heavy-metal pollution levels, with the juveniles being the most sensitive nematode group. The maturity and modified maturity indices, reflecting the degree of disturbance in the soil ecosystem, were found to be the most sensitive indices in both observed areas.

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