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Soils of a native tall grass prairie and an adjoining grazed pasture in central Oklahoma were studied in an effort to determine some of the major groups of Arthopoda represented in the microfauna, and to see what effect, if any, moderate grazing had upon the animals present. During a period of 12 months, 132 cylindrical samples of soil approximately 3 inches deep and 1.6 inches in diameter were taken. Half came from each area. Animals were separated from the soil by the use of Tullgren funnels. Soil temperatures, moisture content, and volume weight of samples were recorded. From the prairie soil 2,792 animals were taken, and from the pasture 1,263. Major groups, in order of decreasing abundance, were mites other than oribatids, oribatids, Collembola, and ants. Other groups represented were Protura, Symphyla, Iapygidae, thrips, Myriapoda, spiders, pseudoscorpions, and insect larvae. Factors favoring the microfauna in the prairie were generally higher moisture conditions, the abundance of dead plant material at the surface, and the lower volume weight, or less compaction, of the soil. The evidence indicated considerable vertical migration in response to moisture conditions on the part of the oribatid mites, and non-random distribution, particularly with reference to the Collembola.

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Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science





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© Copyright 1959 by the Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.



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