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Soil invertebrates of the Russian forest-steppes (review of XX-XXI century publications and the revision of the results)

Вячеслав Генрихович Мордкович, Ilya I. Lyubechanskii

Abstract: The review describes the main stages of the formation and development of soil zoology as a science at the intersection of zoology, ecology and soil science, approximately over a century, i.e. from the beginning of the 1920s until now. The analysis of soil-zoological work carried out in the forest-steppe zone, the subject of which was the fauna and population of soil protozoa, worms, molluscs, microarthropods and larger arthropods, collectively referred to as mesofauna. The forest-steppe was chosen as the topic of the review because it is well-studied and because most of the work on this biome was published in Russian, and little is known abroad (which is not surprising, since more than 80% of the forest-steppe territory is located in Russia). The authors reviewed about 170 the most significant works inventorying soil fauna, analyzing its ecological structure and the functional role of its various components, as well as the studies of the anthropogenic impact on soil animal populations. The works are presented on a territorial basis: the west of the European part of the USSR (Russia), the Volga region and West Siberia. The high species richness and originality of the soil fauna in the forest-steppe, its high resistance to natural and anthropogenic influences were shown. At the end, the review indicates some promising directions for soil fauna research in the Russian forest-steppe.
Keywords: structure / functional / science / fauna / century / forest steppe / soil / territorial / zoology

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