Research article

Soil nematode communities in three Natura 2000 sites of the Trascau Mountains (Romania)

Marcel Ciobanu , Iuliana Popovici

Marcel Ciobanu
Institute of Biological Research, Str. Republicii 48, Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Email: icb@cluj.astral.ro
Iuliana Popovici
Institute of Biological Research, Str. Republicii 48, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Online First: April 20, 2015
Ciobanu, M., Popovici, I. 2015. Soil nematode communities in three Natura 2000 sites of the Trascau Mountains (Romania). Annals of Forest Research DOI:10.15287/afr.2015.363


The nematode fauna in eleven localities distributed in forests and grasslands of three Natura 2000 sites (Cheile Turzii, Trascău and Cheile Turenilor) located in the Trascăului Mountains (Romania) was studied. A total of 133 nematode taxa were found, the nematode communities from the hornbeam-sessile oak forest in Cheile Turenilor being the most diverse (69 taxa), as compared to the grasslands located on sunny, steep slopes of Cheile Turzii (32-44). Only 10 taxa with higher proportions of their populations (D ≥ 10.1) were noted in the nematode communities. Diphtherophora brevicole, Panagrolaimus verrucosus, Trophurus sculptus, Tylencholaimellus striatus and Tylencholaimus minutus are rare records in the Romanian fauna. Dominant nematode taxa and trophic groups differed according to the ecosystems, Natura 2000 habitat types and soil depth. General opportunist nematodes prevailed in forests, whereas persisters were more abundant in calcophilous grasslands, with more mature, complex and stable nematode communities. Proportion of bacterial and fungal decomposition differed between localities, but grouping ecosystems and Natura 2000 habitat types based on the dominant decomposition pathway in soil food web was not possible. Nematode fauna of forests and grasslands was different; nematode community structure also differed in xerophilic and mesophilic grasslands. Nematode fauna is a promising ecological tool in soil-based assessment and monitoring of the conservation status of Natura 2000 habitats.


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