Title: Biodiversity of ground crawling arthropods under different land reclamation treatments in South Iceland

Final project
Year of publication:
Supervisors: Gudmundur Halldorsson
reclamation, diversity, abundance, arthropod


Land reclamation success is often evaluated based on plant community development with little emphasis on arthropod communities. This experiment was conducted to examine arthropod association with reclamation treatments applied to restore degraded rangelands in South Iceland. Ground crawling arthropods were sampled under three reclamation treatments (untreated eroded land; site seeded with grass and fertilized; and site seeded with grass, birch and willow) with three replicate plots per each treatment. Three birch ecosystems were also selected as reference sites for studying arthropod community diversity under birch succession. Arthropods were sampled weekly with pitfall traps for a period of four weeks. Collected specimens were identified to order or species level by comparing with specimens in the collection at the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland. Land reclamation treatment had a significant effect (PERMANOVA, p = 0.002, F = 2.45) on arthropod community richness with some species associating exclusively with specific reclamation treatment(s). However, the abundance of arthropods did not differ significantly between treatments (p = 0.26, F = 2.85). Grass, birch and spruce treatment recorded the highest (35.3) mean catch/trap/week whilst the lowest (9.6) was recorded in the restored birch forest. Each reclamation treatment provides environmental conditions suitable for some arthropod group(s), which suggests that every treatment has a unique effect on arthropod biodiversity.


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