- Contrasting influence of soil nutrients and microbial community on differently sized basal consumers
- Volume | Issue number
- 100 | 7
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
There is increasing evidence of the coexistence of trophic and environmental constraints belowground. While too often ignored in current literature, the extent to which phosphorus is relevant for soil biota was demonstrated in this study by positive correlations of soil C/P and N/P ratios with all the measured microbial parameters (biomass, density and activity), with the numerical abundance of roundworms (Nematoda) and potworms (Enchytraeidae) from lower trophic levels and with the roundworm biomass. Total worm biomass seems dependent on land use, being in rangelands about twice as high as in croplands, although the relative contribution of potworms remains comparable for both land use types (49 ± 20 % SD versus 45 ± 27 % SD). Besides soil [P], soil type plays an important role in the relative biomass of potworms compared to roundworms. Soil parameters (here pH, C/P and N/P ratios) are better predictors for the abundance and biomass of roundworms than microbial parameters. We also propose a graphical way to visualize the major responses of basal consumers to their microbial drivers.
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