In limestone quarries, after quarry abandonment, ecological restoration takes place subsequently over several years, often with the use of different procedures and backfilling materials. The success of the different restoration actions performed at a limestone quarry (Colle Pedrino, Lombardy Prealps, Italy) in terms of vegetation cover and biodiversity levels, compared to the surrounding natural areas, was evaluated in this work.
This study assessed the carbon (C) budget and the C stocks in major compartments of the soil food web (bacteria, fungi, protists, nematodes, meso- and macrofauna) in an arable field with/without litter addition. The C stocks in the food web were more than three times higher in topsoil (0–10 cm) compared to subsoil (>40 cm). Microorganisms contained over 95% of food web C, with similar contributions of bacteria and fungi in topsoil. Litter addition did not alter C pools of soil biota after one growing season, except for the increase of fungi and fungal feeding nematodes in the topsoil.