Regional conditions and land-use alter the potential contribution of soil arthropods to ecosystem services in grasslands
We investigated the impact of regional conditions and land-use intensity on eight selected arthropod taxa of Mesostigmata (Parasitidae), Oribatida (three species), Collembola (one species), Chilopoda (twos pecies), and Diplopoda (one species) sampled in differently managed permanent grasslands of three German study regions. By jointly analyzing changes in abundanc and trophic behavior (measured as natural variation in 15N/14N and 13C/12C ratios) we intended to develop a framework for evaluating the impact of local and regional conditions on the ecosystem services delivered by soil animals (mainly decomposition- and predation-related services). The investigated taxa could be assorted to three major groups: (1) numerical response only, (2) numerical and trophic response and (3) trophic response only. Since the combination of taxa assembled in the individual groups does not correspond to any of the conventional soil ecological classification systems, this grouping offers a new approach for analyzing soil communities...
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