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Land use and soil characteristics affect soil organisms differently from above-ground assemblages

Burton, Victoria J; Contu, Sara; De Palma, Adriana; Hill, Samantha LL; Albrecht, Harald; Bone, James S; Carpenter, Daniel; ... Purvis, Andy; + view all (2022) Land use and soil characteristics affect soil organisms differently from above-ground assemblages. BMC Ecology and Evolution , 22 (1) , Article 135. 10.1186/s12862-022-02089-4. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Land-use is a major driver of changes in biodiversity worldwide, but studies have overwhelmingly focused on above-ground taxa: the effects on soil biodiversity are less well known, despite the importance of soil organisms in ecosystem functioning. We modelled data from a global biodiversity database to compare how the abundance of soil-dwelling and above-ground organisms responded to land use and soil properties. Results: We found that land use affects overall abundance differently in soil and above-ground assemblages. The abundance of soil organisms was markedly lower in cropland and plantation habitats than in primary vegetation and pasture. Soil properties influenced the abundance of soil biota in ways that differed among land uses, suggesting they shape both abundance and its response to land use. Conclusions: Our results caution against assuming models or indicators derived from above-ground data can apply to soil assemblages and highlight the potential value of incorporating soil properties into biodiversity models.

Type: Article
Title: Land use and soil characteristics affect soil organisms differently from above-ground assemblages
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12862-022-02089-4
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12862-022-02089-4
Language: English
Additional information: Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Keywords: Land-use, Land-use intensity, Soil biota, Soil biodiversity, Organism abundance, Mixed-effects models
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10159901
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