Spatial distribution of soil nematodes relates to soil organic matter and life strategy

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Abstract

Soils are among the most biodiverse and densely inhabited environments on our planet. However, there is little understanding of spatial distribution patterns of belowground biota, and this hampers progress in understanding species interactions in belowground communities. We investigated the spatial distribution of nematodes, which are highly abundant and diverse metazoans in most soil ecosystems. To gain insight into nematode patchiness, we mapped distribution patterns in twelve apparently homogeneous agricultural fields (100 m × 100 m each) with equal representation of three soil textures (marine clay, river clay and sandy soil). Quantitative PCRs were used to measure the abundances of 48 distinct nematode taxa in ≈1200 plots. Multivariate analysis showed that within this selection of sites, soil texture more strongly affected soil nematode communities than land management. Geostatistical analysis of nematode distributions revealed both taxon-specific and field-specific patchiness. The average geostatistical range (indicating patch diameter) of 48 nematode taxa in these fields was 36 m, and related to soil organic matter. Soil organic matter content affected the spatial variance (indicating within-field variation of densities) in a life-strategy dependent manner. The r-strategists (fast-growing bacterivores and fungivores) showed a positive correlation between organic matter content and spatial variance, whereas most K-strategists (slow-growing omnivores and carnivores) showed a negative correlation. Hence, the combination of two parameters, soil organic matter content and a general life-strategy characterisation, can be used to explain the spatial distribution of nematodes at field scale.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107542
JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
Volume136
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019

Fingerprint

soil nematodes
nematode
soil organic matter
Soil
Nematoda
spatial distribution
soil
soil texture
patchiness
omnivores
soil ecosystem
land management
clay soils
carnivores
sandy soils
multivariate analysis
Planets
carnivore
Biota
clay soil

Keywords

  • Community composition
  • Geostatistics
  • Quantitative PCR
  • R-INLA
  • Stochasticity
  • terrestrial nematodes

Cite this

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title = "Spatial distribution of soil nematodes relates to soil organic matter and life strategy",
abstract = "Soils are among the most biodiverse and densely inhabited environments on our planet. However, there is little understanding of spatial distribution patterns of belowground biota, and this hampers progress in understanding species interactions in belowground communities. We investigated the spatial distribution of nematodes, which are highly abundant and diverse metazoans in most soil ecosystems. To gain insight into nematode patchiness, we mapped distribution patterns in twelve apparently homogeneous agricultural fields (100 m × 100 m each) with equal representation of three soil textures (marine clay, river clay and sandy soil). Quantitative PCRs were used to measure the abundances of 48 distinct nematode taxa in ≈1200 plots. Multivariate analysis showed that within this selection of sites, soil texture more strongly affected soil nematode communities than land management. Geostatistical analysis of nematode distributions revealed both taxon-specific and field-specific patchiness. The average geostatistical range (indicating patch diameter) of 48 nematode taxa in these fields was 36 m, and related to soil organic matter. Soil organic matter content affected the spatial variance (indicating within-field variation of densities) in a life-strategy dependent manner. The r-strategists (fast-growing bacterivores and fungivores) showed a positive correlation between organic matter content and spatial variance, whereas most K-strategists (slow-growing omnivores and carnivores) showed a negative correlation. Hence, the combination of two parameters, soil organic matter content and a general life-strategy characterisation, can be used to explain the spatial distribution of nematodes at field scale.",
keywords = "Community composition, Geostatistics, Quantitative PCR, R-INLA, Stochasticity, terrestrial nematodes",
author = "Quist, {Casper W.} and Gerrit Gort and Paul Mooijman and Brus, {Dick J.} and {van den Elsen}, Sven and Olga Kostenko and Mariette Vervoort and Jaap Bakker and {van der Putten}, W.H. and Johannes Helder",
year = "2019",
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AU - Quist, Casper W.

AU - Gort, Gerrit

AU - Mooijman, Paul

AU - Brus, Dick J.

AU - van den Elsen, Sven

AU - Kostenko, Olga

AU - Vervoort, Mariette

AU - Bakker, Jaap

AU - van der Putten, W.H.

AU - Helder, Johannes

PY - 2019/9/1

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N2 - Soils are among the most biodiverse and densely inhabited environments on our planet. However, there is little understanding of spatial distribution patterns of belowground biota, and this hampers progress in understanding species interactions in belowground communities. We investigated the spatial distribution of nematodes, which are highly abundant and diverse metazoans in most soil ecosystems. To gain insight into nematode patchiness, we mapped distribution patterns in twelve apparently homogeneous agricultural fields (100 m × 100 m each) with equal representation of three soil textures (marine clay, river clay and sandy soil). Quantitative PCRs were used to measure the abundances of 48 distinct nematode taxa in ≈1200 plots. Multivariate analysis showed that within this selection of sites, soil texture more strongly affected soil nematode communities than land management. Geostatistical analysis of nematode distributions revealed both taxon-specific and field-specific patchiness. The average geostatistical range (indicating patch diameter) of 48 nematode taxa in these fields was 36 m, and related to soil organic matter. Soil organic matter content affected the spatial variance (indicating within-field variation of densities) in a life-strategy dependent manner. The r-strategists (fast-growing bacterivores and fungivores) showed a positive correlation between organic matter content and spatial variance, whereas most K-strategists (slow-growing omnivores and carnivores) showed a negative correlation. Hence, the combination of two parameters, soil organic matter content and a general life-strategy characterisation, can be used to explain the spatial distribution of nematodes at field scale.

AB - Soils are among the most biodiverse and densely inhabited environments on our planet. However, there is little understanding of spatial distribution patterns of belowground biota, and this hampers progress in understanding species interactions in belowground communities. We investigated the spatial distribution of nematodes, which are highly abundant and diverse metazoans in most soil ecosystems. To gain insight into nematode patchiness, we mapped distribution patterns in twelve apparently homogeneous agricultural fields (100 m × 100 m each) with equal representation of three soil textures (marine clay, river clay and sandy soil). Quantitative PCRs were used to measure the abundances of 48 distinct nematode taxa in ≈1200 plots. Multivariate analysis showed that within this selection of sites, soil texture more strongly affected soil nematode communities than land management. Geostatistical analysis of nematode distributions revealed both taxon-specific and field-specific patchiness. The average geostatistical range (indicating patch diameter) of 48 nematode taxa in these fields was 36 m, and related to soil organic matter. Soil organic matter content affected the spatial variance (indicating within-field variation of densities) in a life-strategy dependent manner. The r-strategists (fast-growing bacterivores and fungivores) showed a positive correlation between organic matter content and spatial variance, whereas most K-strategists (slow-growing omnivores and carnivores) showed a negative correlation. Hence, the combination of two parameters, soil organic matter content and a general life-strategy characterisation, can be used to explain the spatial distribution of nematodes at field scale.

KW - Community composition

KW - Geostatistics

KW - Quantitative PCR

KW - R-INLA

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U2 - 10.1016/j.soilbio.2019.107542

DO - 10.1016/j.soilbio.2019.107542

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JO - Soil Biology and Biochemistry

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