Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2010, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (3): 333-346.doi: 10.1007/s11442-010-0333-4

• Eco-geography • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A review on the eco-geography of soil fauna in China

YIN Xiuqin1, SONG Bo1,2, DONG Weihua1,3, XIN Weidong1, WANG Yeqiao4   

  1. 1. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China;;
    2. College of Environment and Planning, Henan University, Kaifeng 475004, Henan, China;;
    3. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Changchun Normal University, Changchun 130032, China;;
    4. Department of Natural Resources Science, University of Rhode Island, Kingston RI 02881, USA
  • Received:2009-07-29 Revised:2009-10-26 Online:2010-06-15 Published:2010-06-15
  • About author:Yin Xiuqin (1951–), Professor, specialized in biogeography and soil fauna ecology. E-mail:
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40871120; National Key Technology Research and Development Program, No.2007BAC06B03


This review summarizes main research findings in soil fauna eco-geography in China in the past 30 years. The subject areas and main results were overviewed including biodiversity and eco-geological distribution of soil fauna communities. Studies of ecological distributions of soil fauna and dynamic ranges in space from tropical, subtropical to temperate regions, and in categories from forest, grassland, desert, wetland, farmland to urban ecosystems, the responses and indications of soil fauna to soil environments. Effects of intensive disturbance such as fire, grazing, farming, fertilization on soil fauna include sensitive (e.g. nematode) and rare groups and community indexes. The functions of soil fauna were discussed including environmental construction, environmental purification, litter decomposition and elements cycling. Interactions between soil fauna and other biota in soil ecosystems and linking between aboveground and belowground diversity and the effects of global change on soil fauna community in China were also included. Finally, the authors pointed out common interests in soil fauna eco-geographical studies, which include application of molecule biology into soil fauna taxa; function and mechanism of soil fauna community diversity; interaction between aboveground and belowground ecosystems; effects of disturbance, pollution, biological invasion, and global change on soil fauna community and function. The review is to provide a scientific basis for promoting soil fauna eco-geographical studies in China.

Key words: soil fauna, biodiversity, bio-indicators, functional role, eco-geography