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Land-use and land-management change: relationships with earthworm and fungi communities and soil structural properties.

Spurgeon DJ, Keith AM, Schmidt O, Lammertsma DR, Faber JH - BMC Ecol. (2013)

Bottom Line: Here, we employ meta-analysis to provide a quantitative assessment of the effects of changes in land use and land management across a range of successional/extensification transitions (conventional arable → no or reduced tillage → grassland → wooded land) on community metrics for two functionally important soil taxa, earthworms and fungi.Not all changes, however, result in positive effects on the assessed community metrics.For example, increasing earthworm abundances and functional group composition were shown to be positively correlated with water infiltration rate (dependent on tillage regime and habitat characteristics); while positive changes in fungal biomass measures were positively associated with soil microaggregate stability.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Maclean Building, Benson Lane, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxon OX10 8BB, UK. dasp@ceh.ac.uk.

ABSTRACT

Background: Change in land use and management can impact massively on soil ecosystems. Ecosystem engineers and other functional biodiversity in soils can be influenced directly by such change and this in turn can affect key soil functions. Here, we employ meta-analysis to provide a quantitative assessment of the effects of changes in land use and land management across a range of successional/extensification transitions (conventional arable → no or reduced tillage → grassland → wooded land) on community metrics for two functionally important soil taxa, earthworms and fungi. An analysis of the relationships between community change and soil structural properties was also included.

Results: Meta-analysis highlighted a consistent trend of increased earthworm and fungal community abundances and complexity following transitions to lower intensity and later successional land uses. The greatest changes were seen for early stage transitions, such as introduction of reduced tillage regimes and conversion to grassland from arable land. Not all changes, however, result in positive effects on the assessed community metrics. For example, whether woodland conversion positively or negatively affects community size and complexity depends on woodland type and, potentially, the changes in soil properties, such as pH, that may occur during conversion. Alterations in soil communities tended to facilitate subsequent changes in soil structure and hydrology. For example, increasing earthworm abundances and functional group composition were shown to be positively correlated with water infiltration rate (dependent on tillage regime and habitat characteristics); while positive changes in fungal biomass measures were positively associated with soil microaggregate stability.

Conclusions: These findings raise the potential to manage landscapes to increase ecosystem service provision from soil biota in relation to regulation of soil structure and water flow.

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Relationship between response ratios (Ln[×2/X’s]) of fungal biomass metrics and aggregate stability measures across land use transitions. Light grey data-points were not included in the calculation of 95% confidence intervals (dashed lines) as assessed by Studentised residuals and Cooks distance.
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Figure 7: Relationship between response ratios (Ln[×2/X’s]) of fungal biomass metrics and aggregate stability measures across land use transitions. Light grey data-points were not included in the calculation of 95% confidence intervals (dashed lines) as assessed by Studentised residuals and Cooks distance.

Mentions: For fungi and soil microaggregate stability, literature searching yielded 86 potential data sources from 10 papers (see Additional file 5). These produced data on response ratios for 41 tillage comparisons, 42 arable to grassland conversion and 3 grassland to woodland conversion. The fungal measure were glomalin-based in over 80% of these cases. Although some clear outliers were identified, a positive linear relationship between the responses to land use change in fungal biomass and soil microaggregate stability measures was indicated (Figure 7). Bootstrapping demonstrated that the model slope was accurate and significantly different from zero (Mean = 0.513; quantiles0.05,0.95 = 0.248, 0.894).


Land-use and land-management change: relationships with earthworm and fungi communities and soil structural properties.

Spurgeon DJ, Keith AM, Schmidt O, Lammertsma DR, Faber JH - BMC Ecol. (2013)

Relationship between response ratios (Ln[×2/X’s]) of fungal biomass metrics and aggregate stability measures across land use transitions. Light grey data-points were not included in the calculation of 95% confidence intervals (dashed lines) as assessed by Studentised residuals and Cooks distance.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4219611&req=5

Figure 7: Relationship between response ratios (Ln[×2/X’s]) of fungal biomass metrics and aggregate stability measures across land use transitions. Light grey data-points were not included in the calculation of 95% confidence intervals (dashed lines) as assessed by Studentised residuals and Cooks distance.
Mentions: For fungi and soil microaggregate stability, literature searching yielded 86 potential data sources from 10 papers (see Additional file 5). These produced data on response ratios for 41 tillage comparisons, 42 arable to grassland conversion and 3 grassland to woodland conversion. The fungal measure were glomalin-based in over 80% of these cases. Although some clear outliers were identified, a positive linear relationship between the responses to land use change in fungal biomass and soil microaggregate stability measures was indicated (Figure 7). Bootstrapping demonstrated that the model slope was accurate and significantly different from zero (Mean = 0.513; quantiles0.05,0.95 = 0.248, 0.894).

Bottom Line: Here, we employ meta-analysis to provide a quantitative assessment of the effects of changes in land use and land management across a range of successional/extensification transitions (conventional arable → no or reduced tillage → grassland → wooded land) on community metrics for two functionally important soil taxa, earthworms and fungi.Not all changes, however, result in positive effects on the assessed community metrics.For example, increasing earthworm abundances and functional group composition were shown to be positively correlated with water infiltration rate (dependent on tillage regime and habitat characteristics); while positive changes in fungal biomass measures were positively associated with soil microaggregate stability.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Maclean Building, Benson Lane, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxon OX10 8BB, UK. dasp@ceh.ac.uk.

ABSTRACT

Background: Change in land use and management can impact massively on soil ecosystems. Ecosystem engineers and other functional biodiversity in soils can be influenced directly by such change and this in turn can affect key soil functions. Here, we employ meta-analysis to provide a quantitative assessment of the effects of changes in land use and land management across a range of successional/extensification transitions (conventional arable → no or reduced tillage → grassland → wooded land) on community metrics for two functionally important soil taxa, earthworms and fungi. An analysis of the relationships between community change and soil structural properties was also included.

Results: Meta-analysis highlighted a consistent trend of increased earthworm and fungal community abundances and complexity following transitions to lower intensity and later successional land uses. The greatest changes were seen for early stage transitions, such as introduction of reduced tillage regimes and conversion to grassland from arable land. Not all changes, however, result in positive effects on the assessed community metrics. For example, whether woodland conversion positively or negatively affects community size and complexity depends on woodland type and, potentially, the changes in soil properties, such as pH, that may occur during conversion. Alterations in soil communities tended to facilitate subsequent changes in soil structure and hydrology. For example, increasing earthworm abundances and functional group composition were shown to be positively correlated with water infiltration rate (dependent on tillage regime and habitat characteristics); while positive changes in fungal biomass measures were positively associated with soil microaggregate stability.

Conclusions: These findings raise the potential to manage landscapes to increase ecosystem service provision from soil biota in relation to regulation of soil structure and water flow.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus