Soil mesoarthropods in areas of coal mining under environmental recovery

<div><p>Abstract: The objective of this work was to evaluate the soil mesofauna composition in non-mining and in mining areas under environmental recovery with native vegetation and forest planting, in a coalmine in Southern Brazil. Five treatments were evaluated: native vegetation in non-mining area; plantation of Acacia mearnsii in non-mining area; plantation of A. mearnsii in mining area; plantation of Eucalyptus dunnii in non-mining area; and plantation of E. dunnii in mining area. Four soil samples per treatment were collected monthly, during one year. The organisms were extracted using a Berlese funnel with 50-W incandescent light. A total of 23,911 organisms were collected from the soil mesofauna, which were identified and distributed into 13 taxonomic groups. The abundance of specimens was similar between treatments. The greatest diversity of taxonomic groups was found under A. mearnsii plantation, in the mining area, and under E. dunnii plantations in non-mining and mining areas, all with 13 groups. Eucalyptus dunnii and A. mearnsii help to mitigate the impact of coal mining on the diversity of the soil mesofauna taxonomic groups, since the composition of mesoarthropods is similar to that of areas that have not been directly affected by mining.</p></div>