Continuous and cumulative acidification and N deposition induce P limitation of the micro-arthropod soil fauna of mineral-poor dry heathlands

Henk Siepel*, Joost Vogels, Roland Bobbink, Rienk Jan Bijlsma, Eelke Jongejans, Rein de Waal, Maaike Weijters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Phosphorus content of mineral-poor sandy soils is steadily decreasing due to leaching caused by continuous and cumulative acidification and N deposition. Sod-cutting as a traditional restoration measure for heathland vegetation appears to increase P limitation, as most of the P present is in the organic matter being removed by sod-cutting. Mineral weathering, the natural inorganic source of P, becomes limiting or has even ceased as a result of the depletion of minerals. Previous investigations indicate a P limitation of the macrofauna under these circumstances. If this also holds for the soil fauna, hampering of decomposition may occur. To test experimentally whether soil fauna is indeed limited by the amount of P in the system, we set up an experiment in sod-cut heathland in which we added P or Ca (as Dolokal), resulting in: P + Ca+, P + Ca-, P-Ca+ and P-Ca- (control) treatments and an extra reference block in the original grass encroached heathland vegetation. The Ca treatment was added because liming is used to recover from acidification effects, but as a side effect Ca may also bind P. Three growing seasons after the addition of P and Ca, we found a significant increase in herbivores and predators among the soil fauna, with herbivore numbers higher in the P+/Ca-plots than in the P+/Ca + plots, indicating a lower availability of P in the presence of added Ca. Predators increased in all P+ plots. Fungivorous browsers responded negatively to the treatment after three growing seasons, both to P and to Ca addition. Phoretic species responded rapidly either to fewer numbers (when these are fungivorous browsers) or to greater numbers (when these are herbivorous browsers) to P addition. P addition induced also an allometric effect, via the medium-sized species increasing in greater numbers than both the larger and smaller species.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-134
JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
Volume119
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018

Fingerprint

soil fauna
heathland
Arthropods
heathlands
arthropod
acidification
Minerals
arthropods
Soil
minerals
Herbivory
herbivore
herbivores
mineral
growing season
predator
predators
vegetation
liming
weathering

Keywords

  • Allometry
  • Minerals
  • Mites
  • N:P ratio
  • Springtails
  • Stoichiometry

Cite this

@article{b1a25b2478aa4ad098237cb86c12f7c1,
title = "Continuous and cumulative acidification and N deposition induce P limitation of the micro-arthropod soil fauna of mineral-poor dry heathlands",
abstract = "Phosphorus content of mineral-poor sandy soils is steadily decreasing due to leaching caused by continuous and cumulative acidification and N deposition. Sod-cutting as a traditional restoration measure for heathland vegetation appears to increase P limitation, as most of the P present is in the organic matter being removed by sod-cutting. Mineral weathering, the natural inorganic source of P, becomes limiting or has even ceased as a result of the depletion of minerals. Previous investigations indicate a P limitation of the macrofauna under these circumstances. If this also holds for the soil fauna, hampering of decomposition may occur. To test experimentally whether soil fauna is indeed limited by the amount of P in the system, we set up an experiment in sod-cut heathland in which we added P or Ca (as Dolokal), resulting in: P + Ca+, P + Ca-, P-Ca+ and P-Ca- (control) treatments and an extra reference block in the original grass encroached heathland vegetation. The Ca treatment was added because liming is used to recover from acidification effects, but as a side effect Ca may also bind P. Three growing seasons after the addition of P and Ca, we found a significant increase in herbivores and predators among the soil fauna, with herbivore numbers higher in the P+/Ca-plots than in the P+/Ca + plots, indicating a lower availability of P in the presence of added Ca. Predators increased in all P+ plots. Fungivorous browsers responded negatively to the treatment after three growing seasons, both to P and to Ca addition. Phoretic species responded rapidly either to fewer numbers (when these are fungivorous browsers) or to greater numbers (when these are herbivorous browsers) to P addition. P addition induced also an allometric effect, via the medium-sized species increasing in greater numbers than both the larger and smaller species.",
keywords = "Allometry, Minerals, Mites, N:P ratio, Springtails, Stoichiometry",
author = "Henk Siepel and Joost Vogels and Roland Bobbink and Bijlsma, {Rienk Jan} and Eelke Jongejans and {de Waal}, Rein and Maaike Weijters",
year = "2018",
month = "4",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.soilbio.2018.01.025",
language = "English",
volume = "119",
pages = "128--134",
journal = "Soil Biology and Biochemistry",
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Continuous and cumulative acidification and N deposition induce P limitation of the micro-arthropod soil fauna of mineral-poor dry heathlands. / Siepel, Henk; Vogels, Joost; Bobbink, Roland; Bijlsma, Rienk Jan; Jongejans, Eelke; de Waal, Rein; Weijters, Maaike.

In: Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Vol. 119, 01.04.2018, p. 128-134.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Continuous and cumulative acidification and N deposition induce P limitation of the micro-arthropod soil fauna of mineral-poor dry heathlands

AU - Siepel, Henk

AU - Vogels, Joost

AU - Bobbink, Roland

AU - Bijlsma, Rienk Jan

AU - Jongejans, Eelke

AU - de Waal, Rein

AU - Weijters, Maaike

PY - 2018/4/1

Y1 - 2018/4/1

N2 - Phosphorus content of mineral-poor sandy soils is steadily decreasing due to leaching caused by continuous and cumulative acidification and N deposition. Sod-cutting as a traditional restoration measure for heathland vegetation appears to increase P limitation, as most of the P present is in the organic matter being removed by sod-cutting. Mineral weathering, the natural inorganic source of P, becomes limiting or has even ceased as a result of the depletion of minerals. Previous investigations indicate a P limitation of the macrofauna under these circumstances. If this also holds for the soil fauna, hampering of decomposition may occur. To test experimentally whether soil fauna is indeed limited by the amount of P in the system, we set up an experiment in sod-cut heathland in which we added P or Ca (as Dolokal), resulting in: P + Ca+, P + Ca-, P-Ca+ and P-Ca- (control) treatments and an extra reference block in the original grass encroached heathland vegetation. The Ca treatment was added because liming is used to recover from acidification effects, but as a side effect Ca may also bind P. Three growing seasons after the addition of P and Ca, we found a significant increase in herbivores and predators among the soil fauna, with herbivore numbers higher in the P+/Ca-plots than in the P+/Ca + plots, indicating a lower availability of P in the presence of added Ca. Predators increased in all P+ plots. Fungivorous browsers responded negatively to the treatment after three growing seasons, both to P and to Ca addition. Phoretic species responded rapidly either to fewer numbers (when these are fungivorous browsers) or to greater numbers (when these are herbivorous browsers) to P addition. P addition induced also an allometric effect, via the medium-sized species increasing in greater numbers than both the larger and smaller species.

AB - Phosphorus content of mineral-poor sandy soils is steadily decreasing due to leaching caused by continuous and cumulative acidification and N deposition. Sod-cutting as a traditional restoration measure for heathland vegetation appears to increase P limitation, as most of the P present is in the organic matter being removed by sod-cutting. Mineral weathering, the natural inorganic source of P, becomes limiting or has even ceased as a result of the depletion of minerals. Previous investigations indicate a P limitation of the macrofauna under these circumstances. If this also holds for the soil fauna, hampering of decomposition may occur. To test experimentally whether soil fauna is indeed limited by the amount of P in the system, we set up an experiment in sod-cut heathland in which we added P or Ca (as Dolokal), resulting in: P + Ca+, P + Ca-, P-Ca+ and P-Ca- (control) treatments and an extra reference block in the original grass encroached heathland vegetation. The Ca treatment was added because liming is used to recover from acidification effects, but as a side effect Ca may also bind P. Three growing seasons after the addition of P and Ca, we found a significant increase in herbivores and predators among the soil fauna, with herbivore numbers higher in the P+/Ca-plots than in the P+/Ca + plots, indicating a lower availability of P in the presence of added Ca. Predators increased in all P+ plots. Fungivorous browsers responded negatively to the treatment after three growing seasons, both to P and to Ca addition. Phoretic species responded rapidly either to fewer numbers (when these are fungivorous browsers) or to greater numbers (when these are herbivorous browsers) to P addition. P addition induced also an allometric effect, via the medium-sized species increasing in greater numbers than both the larger and smaller species.

KW - Allometry

KW - Minerals

KW - Mites

KW - N:P ratio

KW - Springtails

KW - Stoichiometry

U2 - 10.1016/j.soilbio.2018.01.025

DO - 10.1016/j.soilbio.2018.01.025

M3 - Article

VL - 119

SP - 128

EP - 134

JO - Soil Biology and Biochemistry

JF - Soil Biology and Biochemistry

SN - 0038-0717

ER -