Decrease in productivity of pastureland is a common problem in dry areas and needs to be enhanced through conservation and management of soil biodiversity and available plant resources. Diversity and population dynamics of soil arthropods, and soil nutrients were studied in different silvopastoral (tree-integrated grassland) systems for effective management and enhancement of grassland productivity. The most prominent combinations of trees and grasses in silvopastoral systems of the selected sites were Prosopis cineraria with Cenchrus ciliaris and C. biflorus (PC), Acacia nilotica with Elusine compressa and C. ciliaris (AN), Zizyphus nummularia with C. ciliaris and E. compressa (ZN), Capparis decidua with C. biflorus and Digitaria marginatus (CD) and A. senegal with C. ciliaris and D. marginatus (AS). Pure grass blocks outside tree canopy were selected as control plots. Acari, Myriapoda, Coleoptera, Isoptera, Collembola and other soil arthropods were the major soil faunal groups. Relative densities of Acari, Myriapoda and other arthropods were highest in silvopastoral systems and those of Coleoptera, Isoptera and Collembola were highest in pure grass plots. Variations in soil arthropod populations in response to rainfall, soil water content and soil temperature indicated greater sensitivity of these groups to environmental factors. The highest densities and negative relative tree effect (RTE) values of Acari, Myriapoda and other soil arthropods in the ZN, Coleoptera in the AS, Isoptera in the CD and Collembola in the AN systems indicated that these soil arthropods preferred the silvopastoral systems involved. Seasonal variations in soil organic matter and available NH4-N, NO3-N and PO4-P were similar to those of soil arthropods. The concentrations of soil nutrients were highest in the ZN system, which had the highest densities of soil arthropods. The other systems with high populations and soil nutrient status were the CD and AS. Silvopastoral systems based on Z. nummularia, C. decidua and A. senegal promoted soil arthropod populations and enhanced soil nutrient status, highlighting the positive role of tree presence and the need for proper management to promote soil biodiversity, nutrient cycling and sustained production in a fragile environment.