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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo

On-line version ISSN 1806-9657


GOMES, João Bosco Vasconcellos et al. Relationship among soil attributes and ant activity in restinga soils. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2010, vol.34, n.1, pp.67-78. ISSN 1806-9657.

In restinga soils with sand-quartzous constitution the influence of the organic fraction and biological activity on soil key functions is increased, e.g., the capacity of recycling and storing nutrients. The analysis of soil attributes and edaphic fauna at sites under different vegetation cover types is important to understand the behavior of these environments. In this study, chemical, physical and microbiological soil attributes of restinga sites and their relationships with ant populations under different vegetation types in the state of Sergipe were evaluated. Samples of six vegetation types (three sites per cover) were collected, four of which in the area of Caju (forest, ginger-grass, coconut palm plantation and brushwood) and two in the area of Pirambu (dune plateau forest and dune footslope forest). Chemical attributes were analyzed in samples collected from the layers 0-5 and 5-20 cm and the microbial activity evaluated by hydrolysis of fluorescein diacetate, in samples collected from the 0-10 cm layer. The organic fragment mass was evaluated at different depths. Ant communities with activity on the soil surface were considered for evaluation. The principal component analysis was used to compare the sites. The organic compartment attributes (organic C, dissolved organic C and organic fragments) were very sensitive to modifications in the vegetation cover at Caju sites, isolating the native forest sites from the disturbed ones and the ginger-grass site from the coconut palm and brushwood sites. Soil solution attributes influenced by sea-salt spray (electric conductivity, K, Na and Mg) distinguished the Pirambu from the Caju sites. The ant groups had a high level of specialization. Canonical correspondence analysis indicated a low percentage of variance of distribution of these groups and isolated the forest sites from other uses, indicating the existence of other attributes to be considered for distribution.

Keywords : Spodosols; Quartzarenic Neosols (Entisols); soil fauna; multivariate analyses.

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