Biota landscapes



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Thank you for visiting nature. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer. In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript. An Author Correction to this article was published on 19 AprilTillage is known for its adverse effects on soil biota, at least in arable agroecosystems.

Content:
  • Linking the diversity and abundance of stream biota to landscapes in the mid-Atlantic USA
  • Project 7 (phase II):
  • Wanderluxe
  • Centre for Research into Biota, Climate and Landscapes (BioClimLand)
  • Accumulation and biota in a pioneer ecosystem of kudzu vine at Copperhill, Tennessee.
  • Join Biota and 7+ million other Small Business Owners
  • Soil biota in productive landscapes: improving our understanding
  • Information System for Agriculture and Food Research
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Linking the diversity and abundance of stream biota to landscapes in the mid-Atlantic USA

Thank you for visiting nature. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer.

In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript. An Author Correction to this article was published on 19 AprilTillage is known for its adverse effects on soil biota, at least in arable agroecosystems.

However, in vineyards effects might differ as tillage is often performed during dry periods or only in every other inter-row allowing species to re-colonise disturbed areas. We examined the response of earthworms lumbricids , springtails collembola and litter decomposition to periodically mechanically disturbed PMD and permanently green covered PGC vineyard inter-rows and assessed whether site effects are altered by the surrounding landscape.

In commercial vineyards in Austria we sampled earthworms by handsorting, springtails by soil coring and pitfall trapping and installed litter decomposition bags. Earthworm species diversity increased with plant biomass under PMD but not under PGC; earthworm density was unaffected by tillage but increased with plant biomass mainly at high soil quality soil fertility index.

Springtail species diversity was unaffected by tillage; springtail densities mainly larger species were reduced under PGC. Litter decomposition was little affected by investigated parameters. Landscape heterogeneity affected the functional diversity of surface springtails, but did not influence soil-dwelling springtails, earthworms or litter decomposition.

We conclude that effects on soil biota of periodical tillage in vineyards need not necessarily be detrimental and will be modified by plant biomass and soil quality. Viticulture is an ancient and globally widespread agricultural production system. Smallholder wine-growers contribute to multifunctional landscapes that, in addition to grape and wine production, provide a variety of ecosystem services 1. Inter-row soil management practices are performed for weed control, water conservation or to prevent erosion.

These soil tillage regimes include permanent bare soil as a result of intensive tillage, moderate tillage of every second inter-row only also called alternating tillage or no tillage, leaving permanently vegetated inter-rows 3.

Soil tillage has been shown to negatively affect soil biodiversity which is directly linked to associated ecosystem functions such as nutrient cycling or soil formation 4. The compostion and biomass of vegetation may also modify the food source for soil organisms thereby altering their community composition 5 , 6.

However, only a few studies have investigated effects of vineyard soil management practices on earthworms 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , springtails 12 , 13 or soil microbial communities 14 ,These studies mainly compared very contrasting management measures such as intensive tillage, or herbicide applications vs. To the best of our knowledge nothing is known on the effects on soil biota in vineyards with alternating tillage vs.

In vineyards, as in many other agroecosystems, the role of earthworms Oligochaeta: Lumbricidae in promoting soil fertility, aggregate formation and soil organic matter protection is importantGenerally, earthworms are sensitive to soil tillage 17 , and have been used as bioindicators for sustainable soil use and soil quality 18 , 19 ,Earthworms can be divided into three ecological groups according to their habitat and functional role in the agroecosystemEpigeic species live in the top soil and litter layer and usually do not build permanent burrows.

Anecic species drill vertical burrows reaching from the soil surface down to subsoil layers. Endogeic species burrow mainly horizontally in the upper mineral soil layers. Other important indicators of soil quality and sustainable land use are springtails Hexapoda: Collembola 22 , 23 , 24 , 25 , 26 ,By feeding on fungi, bacteria and dead organic matter, as well as living plant tissue they mobilize locked-up nutrients 28 , 29 , contribute to supporting ecosystem services, and are sensitive to land use changes 30 ,Springtails are among the most abundant microarthropods in soil 32 , 33 , with densities of up toSpringtails can be grouped into the three life forms: eu- and hemiedaphic species live mainly in the soils while epedaphic species are active on the soil surface 32 ,Earthworm and springtail community changes are considered to be powerful indicators for ecosystem service provision in vineyard soils.

Another important process integrating the activity of soil biota is litter decompositionFor example, mesofaunal contribution to litter decomposition is directly involved in the degradation of material and indirectly by feeding on microorganisms.

Microorganisms in soil have also been shown to be sensitive to tillage practicesYet, also other practices such as pesticide applications can modify litter decomposition rates 38 ,There is a growing body of studies showing that both plant and aboveground animal biodiversity in vineyards are influenced by the diversity and structure of the surrounding landscape 40 , 41 , 42 , 43 , 44 ,For example, plant communities in vineyards have been shown to be positively affected by nearby semi-natural habitats 43 , specialized ambush spiders in vineyards increased with landscape heterogeneity based on land use categories 40 , sedentary butterfly species in vineyards were related to remnant patches of native vegetation in the surrounding landscapeWe also know from studies in arable crops that both earthworms and springtails were affected by the surrounding landscape structure and land-use intensity within a radius of several hundred meters 46 , 47 , 48 , 49 , 50 , 51 ,However, to the best of our knowledge it has never been examined whether soil biota inhabiting vineyards are also influenced by the surrounding landscape structure.

The aim of this study was to examine the response of earthworm and springtail communities and litter decomposition to periodically mechanically-disturbed PMD or permanently green covered PGC inter-row management in vineyards and whether this response is influenced by the surrounding landscape structure. We expected that i earthworms will be more vulnerable to soil disturbance than springtails due to their body size, ii both earthworms and springtails will be positively related to plant diversity measures and iii landscape complexity will alter potential effects of springtails or earthworms.

These interactions were tested in 16 viticultural landscapes in Austria. In our vineyards we found a total of individuals of earthworms, comprising 13 species 5 anecic and 8 endogeic spp. Both soil quality and plant biomass increased the number of earthworm species and earthworm density Fig.

Similar patterns were observed for earthworm biomass, however data are not shown. Lowest species richness of earthworms was predicted for vineyards with low soil quality field index 23 , and highest earthworm species richness for vineyards with a high soil quality field index 67; Fig. The effect of plant biomass on earthworms was small in sites with low soil quality, but increased with increasing soil quality Fig.

Similar patterns were found for earthworm density Fig. Again, the effect of plant biomass on earthworm density was higher in sites with high soil quality. Total earthworm species numbers a and density b , anecic density c and endogeic species numbers d in vineyard inter-rows in response to plant biomass, soil quality and soil inter-row management PGC…permanent green cover, PMD…periodical mechanical disturbance.

On sites with low soil quality, fewer anecics were found when plant biomass was low Fig. On sites with high soil quality, highest anecic densities 57 ind. Under PGC management the effect of plant biomass on the number of endogeic species was negative Fig. However, under PMD effect of plant biomass was positive and higher with a threefold increase in the species numbers along the plant biomass gradient.

We collected ind. Isotoma viridis ; a full species list is provided in Supplementary Table S2. The effect of plant biomass on springtail species richness was low with a slight decrease of springtail species numbers with increasing plant biomass. Soil quality effect on springtail species numbers was very small, however, a positive effect was seen along an increasing gradient of soil quality.

Soil springtail species numbers a , density b , community weighted morphological trait value CWM, c and functional diversity d in response to plant biomass, soil quality and inter-row soil management PGC…permanent green cover, PMD…periodical mechanical disturbance. Under PGC springtail density decreased with increasing plant biomass, while under PMD springtail density increased with increasing plant biomass. There was a strong interaction between plant biomass and the soil quality. On sites with low soil quality, plant biomass noticeably reduced springtail CWM, while in moderate soil qualities no relationship between CWM and plant biomass was seen.

By contrast, on sites with high soil quality, CWM increased with increasing plant biomass. Similarly to the response of springtail CWM to plant biomass and soil quality, plant biomass adversely effected springtail functional diversity when soil quality was low. However, at sites with high soil quality, functional diversity of springtails increased notably along a gradient of increasing plant biomass.

When soil quality was moderate, plant biomass showed a slighty negative effect on functional diversity. Surface-dwelling springtails species richness was best explained by plant biomass and soil management R 2 adj. Under PGC, plant biomass had a small effect on springtail species richness. However, increasing plant biomass had a negative effect on springtail species richness. Soil management effect was negligible when plant biomass was low.

Nevertheless, the effect of plant biomass was higher under PMD and increased the richness of surface springtails noticeably, with high plant biomass. Surface springtail species numbers a , activity density b , community weighted morphological trait value CWM; c and functional diversity d in response to plant biomass, inter-row soil management PGC…permanent green cover, PMD…periodical mechanical disturbance or landscape mean patch size MPS.

Similar to the results for surface-dwelling springtail species richness, the effect of plant biomass differed noticeably between the management regimes.

The CWM was similar across soil quality levels when there was little plant biomass in the vineyard interrow. While CWM increased with plant biomass in sites with moderate soil quality, the effect size was almost twofold on sites with low soil quality. By contrast, on sites with high soil quality increasing plant biomass reduced the CWM. Functional diversity increased with increasing MPS, however, the effect was marginal.

Also, the effect of soil quality on functional diversity surface-dwelling springtails was small. Litter decomposition rate k was 0. However, R 2 obtained with these models were very low. Overall, our results showed that site factors such as plant biomass and soil quality were more decisive for earthworms and springtails than inter-row soil management. The surrounding landscape structure appeared to affect only the functional diversity of surface dwelling springtails but had no impact on earthworms or soil-dwelling springtails.

Litter decomposition remained little affected by the investigated factors and was not related to earthworm or springtail parameters.

We observed a higher species richness of endogeic earthworms in periodically mechanically disturbed PMD , compared to permanent green covered PGC inter-rows, while anecic species number remained unaffected. This is in contrast to other studies showing sensitivity of earthworm species richness to mechanical vineyard inter-row management 8 , 9 ,However, the unresponsiveness of anecic species numbers is in line with reports showing a higher tolerance to soil tillage, compared to endogeic species because of a better ability to escape from disturbance through their vertical burrows 8.

We interpret our findings as follows. First, earthworm populations could have recovered quickly after the last tillage event in the PMD vineyards 9 as in our study, the last tillage events in the PMD plots had occurred 1—5 years before sampling. Second, we often found an interaction between plant parameters and earthworm species numbers indicating that plants established after tillage compensated for the detrimental mechanical effects.

Indeed, plant diversity has been shown to correlate positively with earthworm biomass and density 5 , 53 ,The lack of epigeic earthworm species in our vineyards reflects the sensitivity of this group to frequent disturbances e.

Therefore, we conclude, that potential negative effects of soil tillage on earthworms appeared to be levelled out in the next season provided that inter-rows are then covered with vegetation. Across treatments, earthworm species richness, density and biomass, as well as anecic species richness was positively affected by soil quality underlining their role as bioindicators for soil qualityIt was interesting to see that in sites with high soil quality the density of anecic earthworms decreased with increasing plant biomass as this ecological group usually feeds on plant litter at the soil surfaceAs earthworms differentially respond to plant species this finding suggests that plant nutritional quality at high soil quality with more grasses and less legumes, was not as attractive for earthworms as under lower soil quality 5 , 7 , 54 ,The finding that densities of soil dwelling springtails were lower in the soils of PGC compared to PMD vineyards concurs with other studies conducted in vineyards


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In fact, there is a strong interest in developing this area, both for renewing the concepts and tools used in ecotoxicology as well as for responding to practical issues, such as risk assessment. The aim of this study was to investigate the spatial heterogeneity of metal bioaccumulation in animals in order to identify the role of spatially explicit factors, such as landscape as well as total and extractable metal concentrations in soils. Over a smelter-impacted area, we studied the accumulation of trace metals TMs: Cd, Pb and Zn in invertebrates the grove snail Cepaea sp and the glass snail Oxychilus draparnaudi and vertebrates the bank vole Myodes glareolus and the greater white-toothed shrew Crocidura russula. Total and CaCl 2 -extractable concentrations of TMs were measured in soils from woody patches where the animals were captured. TM concentrations in animals exhibited a high spatial heterogeneity. They increased with soil pollution and were better explained by total rather than CaCl 2 -extractable TM concentrations, except in Cepaea sp. TM levels in animals and their variations along the pollution gradient were modulated by the landscape, and this influence was species and metal specific.

Centre for Research into Biota, Climate and Landscapes (BioClimLand)

Beyond Pesticides , December 21, A research team undertaking a review of industry-conducted glyphosate safety studies submitted to EU European Union regulators shows that most of the research fails to meet current international standards for scientific validity. Regulators, whether in the UK, the U. The industry research studies reviewed by the ICR team focused on the genotoxicity ability to cause DNA damage of glyphosate. This issue is a huge and concerning one because damage to DNA is a well-recognized contributor to the development of cancers. In addition, multiple studies have found that glyphosate can induce genetic changes , including statistically significant increases in fatty liver disease and liver cell death.

Nature has developed complex bounds uniting living organisms with their natural environment into one entity.

Accumulation and biota in a pioneer ecosystem of kudzu vine at Copperhill, Tennessee.

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Accordingly, there is a need to achieve harmony between conservation of biota and development of agriculture and other human activities. In reality, however, the farm village biodiversity is faced with a number of crises which include: a alteration of farmland by housing and other development work, b changes in the agricultural production process such as the increased use of chemical farm materials and crop changeover, c accelerating farm abandonment caused by a decrease in agricultural households and the aging population, and d invasion by many alien species. In the face of such circumstances, efforts are being exerted in many parts of the country to implement various measures to improve conservation of farmland, water resources and the environment in general as well as to introduce Good Agricultural Practices GAP , directed to promoting the sustainable development of agriculture while conserving the natural environment of farm villages. On the international scene also, attempts are being made to objectively evaluate the relationship between agriculture and the environment, focusing in particular on the relationship between agriculture and biodiversity as an evaluation index. For these reasons, our research is directed toward clarifying the biodiversity in rice paddies and adjacent areas which form the core of the agricultural environment in our country, and to proposing agricultural activities that contribute to the conservation and management of biodiversity. Likewise, there are big differences among the kinds of plants, insects, fish, amphibians and birds that live in the rice paddies.

Landscape heterogeneity affected the functional diversity of surface springtails, but did not influence soil-dwelling springtails, earthworms or.

Soil biota in productive landscapes: improving our understanding

The scientific projects SPs in Project Group B investigate the below- and aboveground biodiversity and the associated ecosystem services. Project Group B comprises 10 SPs, which fall into four categories coded by different colours, see figure below. Two SPs B10 and B11 ; blue integrate ecological and socioeconomic functions.

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Beyond Pesticides, December 14, Multinational technology corporation Amazon. The company has entered into a consent decree with the state of Washington, requiring the retailer to perform certain actions if it wants to restart pesticide sales, in addition to the fine. This is the second major penalty Amazon has received for illegal pesticide sales in recent years. Environmental Protection Agency in

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In this "off the beaten track" interdisciplinary research project, we are conducting a proof of concept study to refine and expand an entirely novel, geobiotic approach to reconstruct landscape evolution with unprecedented accuracy. It integrates dated events in fish and landform evolution across a tectonically dynamic study area northern Zambia-Katanga km2 , where the Upper Congo, Zambezi and Kafue rivers evolved from an ancestral SW flowing drainage rearranged by capture events over the past 20Ma. Whole genome RAD sequencing will determine phylogenetic relationships of four major groups of fishes with high accuracy. These include several cichlid genera Family Cichlidae related to those of Africa's Great Lakes, shellears Family Kneriidae, two genera , characins tiger fishes, Hydrocynus and toothed carps genus Nothobranchius. Key landforms will be dated with high precision rock dating methods surface exposure and radiometric approaches which will then calibrate fish phylogenies. This consilient methodology will allow us to date evolutionary events for biota across unrelated rivers and landscapes, thereby elucidating details of paleoecological events and landform evolution with far greater precision than conventional coarse-scaled methods of landscape dating across the African continent. Ulrich Schliewen, Ph.

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