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Keywords:

  • biodiversity;
  • forest reclamation;
  • post-mining landscape;
  • soil attributes;
  • spontaneous succession

Variation in soil properties may influence diversity of invertebrate communities, a crucial component of every ecosystem, and their impact should be considered also in restoration management. Although most spoil heaps have been reclaimed after brown coal mining, some post-mining sites are left to natural succession. Little is known, however, about the effects of these two fundamentally different approaches on diversity of invertebrates inhabiting these stands. While controlling for habitat characteristics, we analyzed the effects of soil properties on species richness of seven invertebrate groups representing various trophic levels and diverse spatial niches at afforested spoil heaps and adjacent pits managed under these two basic restoration approaches in the North Bohemia Brown Coal Basin (Czech Republic, central Europe). Forty-seven percentage of 140 invertebrate species occurred on both reclamations and successions, but many were found exclusively on successions (37%) or reclamations (16%). The species richness of various groups was affected by different soil properties either independently of other variables or in interaction with microclimatic conditions or management history. These results imply a need for diverse management approaches in post-mining areas to support the diversity of invertebrate communities. Technical reclamations with artificial plantations and spontaneous forest development on bare substrate (thus creating mosaics of open patches and afforested stands with different soil deposit materials) were found to be reasonable alternatives to support invertebrate richness on post-mining forested stands. We conclude that these two approaches should properly be combined in practice.