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Study of soil macrofauna in relation with some of selected soil physio- chemical properties at sumayar-nagar in district Hunza-Nagar Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan

Farida Begum, Batool Zuhra, Akbar Khan, Salma Abrar Durrani, Shaukat Ali, Karamat Ali, Sultan Ishaq

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.5(3), 124-132, September 2014


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Soil is one of the most essential and diverse natural habitat of biodiversity on earth. Soil organisms (biota) carry out a wide range of processes that are important for soil health and fertility in both natural and managed agricultural soils. Total number of organisms, diversity of species and the activity of the soil biota will fluctuate as the soil environment changes. The present preliminary study aims to investigate the abundance, diversity and community composition of Macrofauna in agricultural soils in Nagar-Sumayar in Hunza-Nagar district of Gilgit-Baltistan. Beside soil Macrofauna some of the selected physio-chemical properties of the soil were also investigated. For sampling the entire Sumayar-Nagar is divided into 9 clusters and total 54 soil pits were dug out with Quadrate size (25*25*15cm) and Macrofauna was picked and preserved in 4% formalin. Soil temperature was determined using Temperature probe, air humidity by humidity probe, and moisture determined by Gravimetric method. A total of 718 soil Macrofauna were recorded from 14 orders, the most abundant taxa was Diptera comprising of (59%). Other major orders were Coleoptera (15%), Chilopoda (4.5%) Aranea (3%), Potworms (3%), Hemiptera (2.7%) Hymenoptera (2.7%) Oligochaeta (2%), unidentified Macrofauna (2.9%), Lepidoptera, Acari, Orthroptera and Homoptera (1%) respectively. pH of the soil varies from 7.7 to 8, soil temperature from 10-22oC and soil moisture from 14-20% in different clusters or areas of Nagar- Sumayar. Pearson’s correlation indicated that pH was positively correlated (p<0.01) with Diptera larva while soil temperature with Diptera adult. Soil moisture was positively correlated with Lepidoptera and Aphidae and negatively correlated (p<0.01) with Orthroptera. Macrofauna abundance was positively correlated with soil pH. One way ANOVA showed that there were no significant differences of soil Macrofauna abundance among the various clusters. Highest soil quality was attributed to Daltho area and lowest was Yal area as determined by Macrofauna abundance. Further research need to be done with more intensive sampling to investigate the influence of seasons and other soil management practices on soil Macrofauna abundance and diversity.


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