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S OIL SAPROPHAGES CONSEQUENCE IN HIGH MOUNTAIN PASTURES. Mzia Kokhia , Manana Lortkipanidze , Edisher Tskhadaia , Nino Melashvili Institute of Zoology, Ilia State University, 31 , Chavchavadze Ave., mzia.kokhia@iliauni.edu.ge.

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slide1

SOIL SAPROPHAGES CONSEQUENCE

IN HIGHMOUNTAIN PASTURES

  • MziaKokhia, MananaLortkipanidze,
  • EdisherTskhadaia, Nino Melashvili

Institute of Zoology, Ilia State University, 31, Chavchavadze Ave., mzia.kokhia@iliauni.edu.ge

slide2

Nowadays to study and evaluate the significance of soil invertebrates in highland soils arose a great interest among the scientists all over the world.

slide3
soil fertility depends not only on plant covering but also on the life activity of soil inhabitants
slide4

The soil invertebrates’ role is significant in mixing of various soil layers, in increasing of water flowing and aeration, in improvement of its physical and chemical characteristics and in enrichment of organic matter with products of their vital activity. Representatives of soil mezofauna also play the role of saprophages-humificators and take an active part bringing in organic compounds of plant litter into deep layers of soil, enriching soil mineral horizon and thus, deepening and forming soil profile.

slide5
Invertebrate-saprophages release energy and nutrient elements accumulated by green plants. Saprophytic complex of soil inhabitants is the basic group whose action determines the rate of biological cycle and the level of primary productivity.
slide6

It is significant that Soil Invertebrates may be used for soil diagnostics as sensitive indicators of soil regime

to study the composition and structure of high mountain meadow soils ecosystems
●tostudy the composition and structure of high mountain meadow soils ecosystems.

The main goals of this work are:

  • tostudy and assess of the saprophagesrole in plant remains destructive processes.
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Ecosystems of relatively simple structures are most convenient for biogeocenological studied researches and at the same time are less. High mountain regions are the areas where the formation and development of this type ecosystems’ structure occur in rather extreme conditions for living organisms.

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In groups of low-grass meadow subalpine zone of mountain pastures the level of occupancy of the soil by soil invertebrates varies in different versions of meadow habitat flactuated between 55-850 ind/m2. A  number of crucial differences of soil invertebrates depends on peculiarities of a relief within one site.

distribution
DISTRIBUTION

The majority of the animals are concentrated in upper layers (10-30 cm) and on the surface of the soil under the stone placers. The greatest number of animals is at the edge of the scree.The tendency of transition of soil animals to inhabit the soil surface at high altitudes where the main limiting factor is the lack of heat in the soil which increases with the height.

food activity
Food Activity

The definition ratio of phytosaprophages feeding activity showed high - 60-70% of food assimilability.  We consider the improved assimilability of food for invertebrates from the alpine pastures as an adaptation of saprophages to pessimal habitat conditions.

slide12

With the researches carried on diplopodes M. brachyurumwe defined occurance of the great population difference of food activity which depends on the heat regime of habitat. In mountanous regions food consumption speed reduces to7 times in the height increase from 800 to 2395 m a.s.l.The amount of factual ration reduces from 72% to 8% per body weight.

conclusions
CONCLUSIONS

It was proved that soil invertebrates-saprophagous in the subalpine meadows are actively involved in the destruction of grasses ground litter, contributing to its rapid and complete mineralization, to a considerable extent accelerating the biological turnover in the soils of alpine ecosystems.

slide14
CONCLUSIONS

We consider that the normal pasture loading will preserve and improve the pasture. An excess overloading of pastures often leads to unrecoverable results which are revealed in tamping and packing of soil and destruction of plant covers.The rate of decomposition of plant litter, soil structures and formation of its humus horizon significantly depends on vital activity of soil mesofauna.