Bioturbation enhances C and N contents on near-surface soils in resource-deficient arid climate regions but shows adverse effects in more temperate climates: 2022-1427

Diana Kraus, Roland Brandl, Jörg Bendix, Paulina Grigusova, Sabrina Köhler, A. Larsen, Patricio Pliscoff, Kirstin Übernickel, Nina Farwig

Research output: Working paperPreprint

Abstract

Bioturbating animals can affect physical and chemical soil properties on near-surface soil by either foraging for food or constructing suitable habitats. Thereby, bioturbation can influence the soil texture either sorting or mixing the different grain sizes clay, silt and sand during burrowing. Additionally, bioturbating animals can increase the macronutrients carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) through the transport of nutrients by vertically mixing the soil column and the addition of the bioturbators’ feces to the soil surface. To date, it is not clear how the effects of bioturbation on soil properties vary along an ecological gradient. Therefore, we compared the physical properties clay, silt and sand and the chemical contents of the macronutrients C, N and P for soil samples from mounds and the surrounding area as controls in three different climatic regions (arid, semi-arid and Mediterranean) of coastal Chile. To do so, we calculated the difference between the concentrations of paired mound and control samples. When comparing soil texture, we did not find significant differences between mound and control soil samples. For the macronutrient contents, the difference between mound and control C and N contents increased in the arid site and decreased in the two other research sites with increasing vegetation cover. Since we aimed to cover bioturbation patterns on a broader scale, we additionally compared our findings to other bioturbation studies performed in different biomes. Thereby, we found that other studies also show small differences in soil properties caused by bioturbation which are already sufficient to increase soil fertility.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherEuropean Geosciences Union
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Bioturbation enhances C and N contents on near-surface soils in resource-deficient arid climate regions but shows adverse effects in more temperate climates: 2022-1427'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this