Short-term influence of clear-cutting on abundance of soil-microfauna (Nematoda, Rotatoria and Tardigrada) in a Swedish pine forest soil.
An increase in the abundance of nematodes, rotifers and tardigrades in a pine forest soil during the second year after clear-cutting coincided with increased abundances of micro-organisms. A subsequent decrease in nematode and bacterial abundance occurred simultaneously with a pronounced increase in the amount of inorganic nitrogen. Cutting wastes had a pronounced influence on the abundance of animals. Thus at the peak difference 360% more nematodes were found in plots with slash than in the control forest, whereas the increase in plots without slash was about 195%. During the third year after cutting, plots without cutting wastes contained about 54% fewer nematodes than the control forest whereas in plots with cutting wastes the decrease was less pronounced. Among factors which might influence animal abundance, microbial productivity and moisture contents are considered to be the most important.