- Last updated on 2005.06.16 by Frans Janssens
Checklist of the Collembola: Collembola as bioindicators of forest soil conditions

L. De Bruyn1,2, F. Janssens2, S. Thys2, F. Hendrickx3, D. De Bakker4,6, K. Desender4, J.P. Maelfait1,3, M. Pollet3,4& B. De Vos5

1 Institute of Nature Conservation, 1070 Brussel, Belgium
2 Dept. Biology, Univ. Antwerpen, 2020 Antwerpen, Belgium
3 Research Group Terrestrial Ecology (TEREC), Dept Biology, University of Gent, 9000 Gent, Belgium
4 Dept. Entomology, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, 1000 Brussel, Belgium
5 Inst. Forestry and Game Management, 9500 Geraardsbergen, Belgium
6 Department of African Zoology, Section Invertebrates, non-insects, Royal Museum for Central Africa, 3080 Tervuren, Belgium


It has been stated by several authors that the abundance, species diversity and life history characteristics of Collembola can serve as excellent ecological indicators of the state of the environment. Specific community characteristics may reveal properties of the habitat that would otherwise be difficult or even impossible to quantify by measuring physical factors or based on vegetation revelés. In the scope of a research project on the occurrence, diversity and bio-indicative value of terrestrial invertebrates, a multitude of arthropod taxa were sampled in 56 forest plots (40 woods) in Flanders (Belgium). The main aim was to classify the forest soils based on the sample animals or animal groups. Surface dwelling Collembola were collected with pitfall traps. In all, about 14000 specimen belonging to 41 species were collected. In general, the Collembola communities fall apart along a soil texture gradient while there is a tendency that the species are grouped according to the main tree species.

Index terms: Collembola, ecological indicators, habitat afinities.