Species diversity of free-living ciliates in soils of protected areas and agrocenoses of various regions of Azerbaijan

Abstract : The results of comparative long-term studies of soil ciliates in two national parks of Azerbaijan - mountainous Shahdag and lowland Samur Yalama - are presented. In total, 144 species of freeliving ciliates, belonging to 8 classes and 37 families were found in the soils of both parks. The greatest species diversity was noted in the forest areas of both parks with minimal influence of the anthropogenic factor, respectively, in Shakhdag - 95, and in Samur Yalama - 104 species. A study of the structure of pedobiont ciliate communities showed that the highest percentage of dominant and subdominant species is in the forest areas of both national parks. The soils of alpine meadows and agrocenoses exposed to human activity show a smaller number of dominant and subdominant species groups, with a much higher percentage of ciliates belonging to the random and accidental species groups. Consequently, extreme environmental conditions lead to a decrease in dominance, which reflects a general deterioration in the condition of the ciliate pedobiont community. A pairwise comparison of the species composition similarity of pedobiont ciliates in both of the park's landscapes showed the greatest similarity (71%) between forest areas with minimal influence of human activity. A comparison of the remaining areas of both parks showed their similarity to be within 50-59%. Thus, the analysis showed a fairly high similarity in the species diversity of pedobiont ciliates in different landscapes of the studied national parks at the level of 50-71%.
Keyword : Ciliates, species diversity, ecology, protected areas, agrocenoses, soils, Azerbaijan
Author(s) : Alekperov, I. Kh.
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Published Issue : 2024 Vol. 19 Number 2

2024 Vol. 19 Number 2