Cite as:
Kraus, D.; Brandl, R.; Achilles, S.; Bendix, J.; Grigusova, P.; Larsen, A.; Pliscoff, P.; &Uuml;bernickel, K. &amp; Farwig, N. (2022): <b>Vegetation and vertebrate abundance as drivers of bioturbation patterns along a climate gradient</b>. <i>PLOS ONE</i> <b>17</b>(3), 1-14.

Resource Description

Title: Vegetation and vertebrate abundance as drivers of bioturbation patterns along a climate gradient
FOR816dw ID: 475
Publication Date: 2022-03-23
License and Usage Rights:
Resource Owner(s):
Individual: Diana Kraus
Individual: Roland Brandl
Individual: Sebastian Achilles
Individual: Jörg Bendix
Individual: Paulina Grigusova
Individual: Annegret Larsen
Individual: Patricio Pliscoff
Individual: Kirstin Übernickel
Individual: Nina Farwig
Bioturbators shape their environment with considerable consequences for ecosystem processes. However, both the composition and the impact of bioturbator communities may change along climatic gradients. For burrowing animals, their abundance and composition depend on climatic and other abiotic components, with ants and mammals dominating in arid and semiarid areas, and earthworms in humid areas. Moreover, the activity of burrowing animals is often positively associated with vegetation cover (biotic component). These observations highlight the need to understand the relative contributions of abiotic and biotic components in bioturbation in order to predict soil-shaping processes along broad climatic gradients. In this study, we estimated the activity of animal bioturbation by counting the density of holes and the quantity of bioturbation based on the volume of soil excavated by bioturbators along a gradient ranging from arid to humid in Chile. We distinguished between invertebrates and vertebrates. Overall, hole density (no/ 100 m2) decreased from arid (raw mean and standard deviation for invertebrates: 14 ± 7.8, vertebrates: 2.8 ± 2.9) to humid (invertebrates: 2.8 ± 3.1, vertebrates: 2.2 ± 2.1) environments. However, excavated soil volume did not follow the same clear geographic trend and was 300-fold larger for vertebrates than for invertebrates. The relationship between bioturbating invertebrates and vegetation cover was consistently negative whereas for vertebrates both, positive and negative relationships were determined along the gradient. Our study demonstrates complex relationships between climate, vegetation and the contribution of bioturbating invertebrates and vertebrates, which will be reflected in their impact on ecosystem functions.
| Chile | Burrowing animals |
Literature type specific fields:
Journal: PLOS ONE
Volume: 17
Issue: 3
Page Range: 1-14
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Metadata Provider:
Individual: Jörg Bendix
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