Rates of Decomposition Processes in Mountain Soils of the Sudeten as a Function of Edaphic-Climatic and Biotic Factors

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The rate of grass litter decomposition was studied in soils of the Karkonosze Mountains of the Sudeten at different altitudes. Parallel structural-functional investigations of the soil animal population on the example of soil macrofauna were carried out and heavy metals were assayed in the soil at stationary plots to reveal the effects of both natural and anthropogenic factors on the soil biological activity. The recent contamination of soil in the Sudeten by heavy metals and sulfur does not affect the spatial distribution and abundance of the soil-dwelling invertebrates and the decomposition rates. The latter correlated to a high level of soil saprotroph activity. The activity of the decomposition processes depends on the soil content of organic matter, conditions of soil drainage, and the temperature of upper soil horizon.

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