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This project investigated soil recovery processes on the reclaimed territories of Kavtiskhevi and Gardabani quarries by means of soil inhabiting invertebrates.
Oribatid mites, in the Acarine suborder Oribatida, are associated with organic matter in most terrestrial ecosystems (Behan-Pelletier and Eamer, 2007; Maraun et al., 2007; Norton and Behan-Pelletier, 2009; Schneider, 2005). Their ability for dispersal is low and those that do disperse as adults (Norton, 1994). As a result, oribatid mites cannot easily escape from stress conditions. Population of oribatid mites decline rapidly when their habitat is damaged, that allows detection of environmental degradation. So, they can be considered as «early warning» indicators of stress.
Springtails (Collembola) are major components of terrestrial ecosystems, constituting a substantial proportion of the soil animal biomass and diversity and are thus frequently and easily found (Coleman et al., 2004). Like oribatids, they play an important role in plant litter decomposition and in soil formation processes. They are known as one of the pioneers of early stages of soil recovery processes and rapid colonizers of reclaimed waste sites (Hutson, 1980).
1. Inventory of soil arthropods ( oribatid mites, springtails);
2. Study biotic complexity of reclaimed and control sites using invertebrate animals as bioindicators;
3. Identify pioneer colonists species and species adapted to the anthropogenic pressure;
4. Reveal the effectiveness of provided reclamation activities;
5. Publish informative booklet and on line placement of the project activities and project results.
The project won the 1st Prize in National Quarry Life Award in 2014 in Georgia.
Read more: http://www.quarrylifeaward.com/project/soil-arthropod-diversity-and-quarry-rehabilitation