Fast attrition of springtail communities by experimental drought and richness–decomposition relationships across Europe

Peguero, Guille and Sol, Daniel and Arnedo, Miquel and Petersen, Henning and Salmon S., Sandrine and Ponge, Jean‐François and Maspons, Joan and Emmett, Bridget and Beier, Claus and Tietema, Albert and De Angelis, Paolo and Kovács-Láng, Edit and Kröel-Dulay, György and Estiarte, Marc and Bartrons, Mireia and Holmstrup, Martin and Janssens, Ivan A. and Peñuelas, Josep (2019) Fast attrition of springtail communities by experimental drought and richness–decomposition relationships across Europe. GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY, 25 (8). pp. 2727-2738. ISSN 1354-1013 (print); 1365-2486 (online)

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Soil fauna play a fundamental role on key ecosystem functions like organic matter decomposition, although how local assemblages are responding to climate change and whether these changes may have consequences to ecosystem functioning is less clear. Previous studies have revealed that a continued environmental stress may result in poorer communities by filtering out the most sensitive species. However, these experiments have rarely been applied to climate change factors combining multiyear and multisite standardized field treatments across climatically contrasting regions, which has limited drawing general conclusions. Moreover, other facets of biodiversity, such as functional and phylogenetic diversity, potentially more closely linked to ecosystem functioning, have been largely neglected. Here, we report that the abundance, species richness, phylogenetic diversity, and functional richness of springtails (Subclass Collembola), a major group of fungivores and detritivores, decreased within 4 years of experimental drought across six European shrublands. The loss of phylogenetic and functional richness was higher than expected by the loss of species richness, leading to communities of phylogenetically similar species sharing evolutionary conserved traits. Additionally, despite the great climatic differences among study sites, we found that taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional richness of springtail communities alone were able to explain up to 30% of the variation in annual decomposition rates. Altogether, our results suggest that the forecasted reductions in precipitation associated with climate change may erode springtail communities and likely other drought-sensitive soil invertebrates, thereby retarding litter decomposition and nutrient cycling in ecosystems. © 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: biodiversity‐ecosystem functioning, climate change, Collembola, drought, litter decomposition, shrublands, soil fauna
Subjects: Q Science / természettudomány > QL Zoology / állattan
Depositing User: MTMT SWORD
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2020 09:33
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2020 09:45

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