Species Structure of the Earthworm Communities (Lumbricidae) in the Grounds of Two Liquidated Uranium Mines (Senokos and Eleshnitsa) in Bulgaria

Ralitsa V. Tsekova*, Lidia G. Sakelarieva
South-West University "Neofit Rilski", Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Department of Geography, Ecology and Environmental Protection, 66 Ivan Mihailov Street, 2700 Blagoevgrad, BULGARIA
*Corresponding author: ralvir@abv.bg
Abstract. The soil earthworm communities (Lumbricidae) in the abandoned uranium mines Eleshnitsa and Senokos, located in the southwestern part of Bulgaria, were studied in 2011 – 2016. The sampling areas have been polluted to varying degrees with heavy metals and radionuclides and disturbed by different mining and reclaiming activities. The species structure of the communities has been determined by the species composition, the number of species, the total abundance, and some diversity indices (species richness, evenness, dominance, total diversity). The number of species identified in the sampling sites is equal (Eleshnitsa mine) or higher (Senokos mine) than the one in the control sites. The total abundance of the earthworm communities is higher in the control areas and in the autumn samples. The number of immature worms is higher than that of the mature ones and more abundant in the autumn. Higher earthworm diversity is evaluated for Senokos mine and it seems that it is under the influence of many factors (environmental characteristics, mining and reclaiming activities), not only the pollution.
Key words: earthworms, diversity, uranium mines, Bulgaria.

Ecologia Balkanica, 2019, Special Edition 2, pp. 165-179
Article № eb.19SE218 [Full text - PDF]pdf

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