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Functional structure and composition of Collembola and soil macrofauna communities depend on abiotic parameters in derelict soils

  • Vincent, Quentin
  • Leyval, Corinne
  • Beguiristain, Thierry
  • Auclerc, Apolline
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2018
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In the last decades, anthropogenic disturbances have altered the ability of soils to provide diverse functions. Certain anthropogenic soils, with a low fertility level and often contaminated, ended up underused and derelict. Although derelict for humans, these soils may be refuges for biodiversity, but their biological functioning remains poorly understood. To this end, a trait-based approach of soil invertebrate communities might be an effective predictor of ecosystem state. The present work aims to highlight the in situ links between the abiotic characteristics of derelict soils and the taxonomic and functional structure and composition (through a trait-based approach) of macrofauna and Collembola communities inhabiting these soils. We studied 6 different derelict soils: two soils from coking plants, one soil from a settling pond, two constructed soils, and an inert waste storage soil. We measured fifteen abiotic soil parameters that inform on fertility and contamination. We took into account sixteen traits and ecological preferences to characterize the functional structure and composition of Collembola and macrofauna communities. Soil fertility (organic matter content, C:N ratio, P, Ca and Mg concentrations, cation-exchange capacity, and clay content) and moderate contamination (Pb, Cd, Zn, and PAH concentrations) altered the taxonomic and functional composition of Collembola and macrofauna communities by selecting traits such as body length, pigmentation, vertical distribution, diet type, and habitat preference. Compost-amended constructed soil properties selected taxonomic and functional community composition of slightly disturbed soil. In contrast, metal-contaminated constructed soil harbored a higher proportion of Collembola displaying the traits and ecological preferences of instable ecosystems. The study of functional profiles of Collembola and macrofauna communities in the derelict soils evidenced that they support different communities with more or less wide functional potential. It underlines the interest of multiple biotic component studies to reach a better ecosystem description.

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