Acta Univ. Agric. Silvic. Mendelianae Brun. 2020, 68, 507-518
Published online 2020-07-01

Soil Arthropods in Differently Used Agroecosystems Along an Ecological Gradient in Slovakia

Radoslava Kanianska1, Jana Jaďuďová1, Miriam Kizeková2, Jarmila Makovníková3, Bernard Šiška4, Jozef Varga1, Nikola Benková1

1Faculty of Natural Sciences, Matej Bel University Banská Bystrica, Tajovského 40, 974 01 Banská Bystrica, Slovakia
2National Agricultural and Food Centre, Grassland and Mountain Agriculture Research Institute, Mládežnícka 36, 974 21 Banská Bystrica, Slovakia
3National Agricultural and Food Centre, Soil Science and Conservation Research Institute Bratislava, Regional Station Banská Bystrica, Mládežnícka 36, 974 21 Banská Bystrica, Slovakia
4Faculty of European Studies and Regional Development, Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Tr. A. Hlinku 2, 949 76 Nitra, Slovakia

Received April 27, 2018
Accepted June 8, 2020

Arthropods are part of important functional groups in soil and little is known about their composition in differently used agroecosystems across larger spatial scales. We analysed the qualitative and quantitative structure of soil arthropods with emphasis on ground beetles in different agroecosystems in relation to the various factors (soil physical properties) that Slovakia as a highly diversified country offers. Research was conducted in 4 different soil types (Arenosol, Cambisol, Fluvisol, Leptosol) at 6 study sites located in three different ecological zones with two different land use types (arable land – AL and permanent grasslands – PG). Ten orders of soil arthropods were identified, of which the most abundant was the order Coleoptera, specifically the Poecilus cupreus species in the Carabidae family. The analysis of variance confirmed significant effect of land use type on arthropod number and ecological gradient on arthropod biomass and soil temperature. The number and biomass of arthropods was nearly twice as high in PG plots compared to AL plots with the exception of two study sites located in sub-mountain and mountain regions with the dominance and proximity of extensive forest and grassland ecosystems. From the ecological gradient point of view, the highest arthropod biomass was recorded in the mountain ecological zone.


This work was supported by the Slovak Research and Development Agency under Grant No. APVV-0098-12, and by the Scientific Grant Agency of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic under Grant No. VEGA 1/0767/17. The research of abiotic soil parameters was done by the equipment supported by Operational Programme Research and Development via contract No. ITMS-26210120024.


42 live references