The influence of distance from crushed stone mining on surface-active arthropods and soil properties




ants, beetles, spiders, species richness, Ikwezi mining site, Blue Rock mining site



Background: Mining of crushed stone for use in construction is among the various anthropogenic activities in the Eastern Cape province in South Africa that alter natural landscapes. However, little is known about the impact of these activities on arthropods and soil chemical properties.

Objectives: We investigated the effect of distance (5, 30, 50 and 70 metres) from the mining sites on species richness, abundance and composition of surface-
active arthropods, as well as composition and concentration of soil chemical properties (soil pH, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc).

Methods: The study was conducted at two mining sites in Nyandeni Local Municipality within the O.R. Tambo District Municipality that were commissioned in 2014. Arthropods were sampled using pitfall traps and thereafter sorted into morphospecies, while an auger was used to collect soil samples. Permutational multivariate analysis was used to compare the composition of the arthropods and soil chemical properties among distances from the mining activities, while arthropod species richness and abundance, as well as concentrations of soil chemical properties, were analysed using the one-way analysis of variance or Kruskal-Wallis test.

Results: Arthropod species richness, abundance and composition were not influenced by distance from mining activities. Although among soil chemical properties, mining activities altered the concentration of zinc only, we found dissimilarities in soil composition between the sampling point at the edge of the mining activities and sampling points that were away from the mining sites.

Conclusion: We found no evidence of the impact of crushed stone mining on surface-active arthropods; however, our study revealed a negative impact of crushed stone mining on soil chemical properties.


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How to Cite

Yekwayo, I., & Mngeni, A. (2023). The influence of distance from crushed stone mining on surface-active arthropods and soil properties. Bothalia, African Biodiversity & Conservation, 54(1).



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