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Andrzej Klimek*, Stanisław Rolbiecki*, Roman Rolbiecki*, Grzegorz Gackowski*, Piotr Stachowski**, Barbara Jagosz***
*University of Science and Technology in Bydgoszcz, Poland; **Poznań University of Life Sciences, Poland; ***University of Agriculture in Krakow, Poland
corresponding author’s e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Abstract
The purpose of this investigation was to indicate the most effective method of revitalizing degraded forest area. The different modifications of wood chips were used as a substitute for humus layer. The mites (Acari), and moss mites (Oribatida) as the bio-indicators of soil succession changes were used. The study began 2 years after planting of Scots pine seedlings on the land devastated by military activity, at the former military training ground (GPS: 53.156943N, 17.986440E). The soil on this area was in the type of rusty soils and subtype of the rusty algae soils. Scots pine seedlings were planted in spring 2011, in a distance 1.5×0.8 m. In one-factor experiment four soil mulching treatments were tested: 1. uncovered soil – control (C), 2. soil mulched with wood chips (W), 3. W + mycorrhizal preparation (WM), 4. W + forest litter (WL). Three replicates of microplots arrangement was applied. Each microplot was 5 m long with 3 rows of Scots pine. Each replication covers 10 rows. Mulching with wood chips was carried out on April 12, 2012. On October 25, 2012, the wood chips on the WM microplots were inoculated with the mycorrhizal biopreparation, and on the WL microplots, a 10% addition of fresh forest litter from the ripe fresh coniferous forest was applied. After the end of the growing season of 2012, 2013 and 2014, the measurement of the plants was carried out (the height, the root neck diameter, the length of one-year increments in the last whorl, the number of one-year increments of the last whorl and the lengths of one-year increments of the last whorl). The samples for acarological tests were collected four times. In total, 40 substrate samples with a volume of 50 cm3 each were collected from each treatment. Mites extraction was carried out for 7 days in Tullgren apparatus. Mites were identified to the order, and moss mites to the species or genus, including juvenile stages. Calculated: the average density of mites, the dominance index, the species richness, the diversity of moss mites, the average number of species, and the Shannon general species diversity index. The use of soil mulching with the Scots pine wood chips did not significantly affect the growth and developmental characteristics of the Scots pine plants. After mulching with wood chips, the total number of mites increased many times, and moss mites began to dominate among micro-arthropods. Mulching treatments increased the number and the species diversity of moss mites in the substrate. The number of moss mites increased the most in wood chips without additives. The highest species diversity was observed in the wood chips with the addition of forest litter. Among moss mites Tectocepheus velatus visibly dominated in all study treatments. Oppiella nova and Scutovertex sculptus also constituted numerous mites populations. The study shows that the wood chips are very useful for use in the regeneration of the devastated and degraded forest soils.

Keywords
forest litter, mite, moss mite, mulching, mycorrhizal preparation, Pinus sylvestris

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