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    Cross-taxa congruence, indicators and environmental gradients in soils under agricultural and extensive land management

    Keith, Aidan M. and Boots, Bas and Hazard, Christina and Niechoj, Robin and Arroyo, Julio and Bending, Gary D. and Bolger, Tom and Breen, John and Clipson, Nicholas and Doohan, Fiona M. and Griffin, Christine and Schmidt, Olaf (2012) Cross-taxa congruence, indicators and environmental gradients in soils under agricultural and extensive land management. European Journal of Soil Biology, 49. pp. 55-62. ISSN 1164-5563

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    Important steps in developing reliable bioindicators for soil quality are characterising soil biodiversity and determining the response of its components to environmental factors across a range of land uses and soil types. Baseline data from a national survey in Ireland were used to explore relationships between diversity and composition of micro-organisms (bacteria, fungi, mycorrhiza), and micro-, meso- and macro-fauna (nematodes; mites; earthworms, ants) across a general gradient representing dominant land uses (arable, pasture, rough-grazing, forest and bogland). These diversity data were also linked to soil physico-chemical properties. Differences in diversity and composition of meso- and macro-fauna, but not microbes, were clear between agriculturally-managed (arable and pasture) and extensivelymanaged (rough-grazing and bogland) soils corresponding to a broad division between ‘mineral’ and ‘organic’ soils. The abundance, richness and composition of nematode and earthworm taxa were significantly congruent with a number of the other groups. Further analysis, using significant indicator species from each group, identified potential target taxa and linked them to soil environmental gradients. This study suggests that there is potential surrogacy between the diversity of key soil taxa groups and that different sets of bioindicators may be most effective under agricultural and extensive land use.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Soil monitoring; Land use; Biodiversity; Physico-chemical gradients; Bioindicators; Soil community structure;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Biology
    Item ID: 4183
    Depositing User: Dr. Christine Griffin
    Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2013 12:30
    Journal or Publication Title: European Journal of Soil Biology
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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