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• Oribatida and Collembola were compared in spruce forests with different management.
• Density, species richness, diversity and evennes did not respond to management.
• Species composition and trait presence in community changed.
• Parthenogenetic and detritivorous oribatids were abundant in intensely managed forest.
• Collembolans with developed furca were more dominant in intensely managed forest.
This study examined the influence of forest management intensity (3 unmanaged, 3 mild managed, 5 intensively managed stands) on soil microarthropods in montane spruce forest. We particularly focused on Oribatida and Collembola which play important roles in organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling. Our results showed a significant shift from fungivory and carnivory to detritivory in the Oribatida community accompanying management intensification. Similarly, parthenogenetic oribatid mite species contributed more to the community in intensively managed forests and the presence of Collembola species with developed furca increased with management intensification. Although there was no remarkable influence of management intensity on total densities or diversity indices, important and significant shifts in species composition and functional groups showed that soil functions and processes were affected by forest management. Trait assessment indicates a shift in roles Oribatida play in decomposition; fragmentation and comminuting of undecomposed litter seems to gain importance in the intensively managed forest, whereas fungivorous species affect primary decomposers through feeding on fungi in the unmanaged forest.
Journal: Applied Soil Ecology - Volume 75, March 2014, Pages 71–79