Next Article in Journal
Climate Impacts on Soil Carbon Processes along an Elevation Gradient in the Tropical Luquillo Experimental Forest
Next Article in Special Issue
Mixed-Species Effects on Soil C and N Stocks, C/N Ratio and pH Using a Transboundary Approach in Adjacent Common Garden Douglas-Fir and Beech Stands
Previous Article in Journal
Landscape Structure and Mature Forest Biodiversity in Wet Eucalypt Forests: A Spatial Analysis of Timber Production Areas in South-Eastern Australia
Article Menu
Issue 3 (March) cover image

Export Article

Correction published on 27 September 2017, see Forests 2017, 8(10), 366.

Open AccessArticle
Forests 2017, 8(3), 85; doi:10.3390/f8030085

Tree Species Identity Shapes Earthworm Communities

1
Department of Applied Biosciences, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Valentin Vaerwyckweg 1, 9000 Gent, Belgium
2
Forest & Nature Lab, Department of Forest and Water Management, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Geraardsbergsesteenweg 267, 9090 Gontrode, Belgium
3
Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 23, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
4
Division of Forest, Nature and Landscape, Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200 E, Box 2411, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
5
Faculty of Science and Technology, University College Ghent, Brusselsesteenweg 161, 9090 Melle, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 January 2017 / Revised: 10 March 2017 / Accepted: 13 March 2017 / Published: 17 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tree Species, as Major Drivers of Forest Ecosystems Functioning)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2985 KB, uploaded 29 September 2017]   |  

Abstract

Earthworms are key organisms in forest ecosystems because they incorporate organic material into the soil and affect the activity of other soil organisms. Here, we investigated how tree species affect earthworm communities via litter and soil characteristics. In a 36-year old common garden experiment, replicated six times over Denmark, six tree species were planted in blocks: sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus), beech (Fagus sylvatica), ash (Fraxinus excelsior), Norway spruce (Picea abies), pedunculate oak (Quercus robur) and lime (Tilia cordata). We studied the chemical characteristics of soil and foliar litter, and determined the forest floor turnover rate and the density and biomass of the earthworm species occurring in the stands. Tree species significantly affected earthworm communities via leaf litter and/or soil characteristics. Anecic earthworms were abundant under Fraxinus, Acer and Tilia, which is related to calcium-rich litter and low soil acidification. Epigeic earthworms were indifferent to calcium content in leaf litter and were shown to be mainly related to soil moisture content and litter C:P ratios. Almost no earthworms were found in Picea stands, likely because of the combined effects of recalcitrant litter, low pH and low soil moisture content. View Full-Text
Keywords: biogeochemistry; litter quality; soil fauna; soil acidification; plant–soil interactions; biological indicator of soil quality; Oligochaeta biogeochemistry; litter quality; soil fauna; soil acidification; plant–soil interactions; biological indicator of soil quality; Oligochaeta
Figures

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Schelfhout, S.; Mertens, J.; Verheyen, K.; Vesterdal, L.; Baeten, L.; Muys, B.; De Schrijver, A. Tree Species Identity Shapes Earthworm Communities. Forests 2017, 8, 85.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Forests EISSN 1999-4907 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top