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Epigeal and Hypogeal Macroinvertebrate Diversity in Different Microhabitats of the Yusmarg Hill Resort (Kashmir, India)

Keywords: soil macroinvertebrates , diversity , physical disturbance , Kashmir , India

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Abstract:

Soil macroinvertebrate communities are important within the soil system and contribute to a wide variety of soil processes. A soil study was conducted to assess the composition and diversity of soil macroinvertebrates in Yusmarg hill resort of Kashmir valley at four sites characterised by different types of vegetation and interferences like grazing or fencing, during the months of May, June, November and December 2010. During the study, it was observed that different sites exhibited variations in diversity of both epigeal as well as hypogeal soil macroinvertebrates. For epigeal macroinvertebrates, highest diversity was recorded in forest edge (2.089) and inner forest (2.058) and relatively low diversity in grazed (1.61) and fenced areas (1.09). For hypogeal macroinvertebrates, diversity was recorded highest for inner forest site (2.216) than forest edge (1.9) and relatively lower in fenced (1.22) and grazed (1.21) sites. The physical disturbance in the form of grazing and fencing probably reduce the diversity of the soil macro fauna as is inferred from the present study.

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