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Nematodes are widespread throughout many terrestrial ecosystems, and have shown potential to be used as
indicators of soil ecosystem development. In this paper, nematode indices of soil are used to distinguish
between two different treatment types during the rehabilitation of platinum mine tailing. In the two different
soil treatment types, through the addition of woodchip-vermicompost and inorganic fertilizer, soil of both
treatments had a higher number of nematode species in the soil than the control following a period of
24 months. Of the seventeen genera identified, Rhabditida dominated in all sites. A significant difference
(p <0.05) was observed between plant parasitic indices of both treatments and the control soils. The main
decomposition pathway was dominated by bacteria for all sites as evident from the Channel index values,
which is indicative of the dominant decomposition pathways. The dominance of bacterial feeding nematodes
and the high number of nematodes feeding on higher plants indicate that the platinum mine tailings sites may
be in an initial stage of succession. The enrichment index which describes the overall food web conditions
within the soils, indicates that the woodchip-vermicompost treatment soil system may have a low C:N ratio
and be nutrient enriched. In the third sampling period (after 18 months) an increase in food web complexity
was observed in the woodchip-vermicompost treatment sites indicating recovery from disturbance.
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