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Experimental assessment of habitat preference and dispersal ability of soil springtails

Abstract : Beside biotic interactions, habitat preference and dispersal ability of species play a prominent role in the building of animal species assemblages. However, these traits are usually very poorly documented for soil organisms. A soil transfer experiment was designed to study habitat preference (including land-use and soil preference) and dispersal ability of soil springtail species living in a meadow and in an adjoining deciduous forest. The study was performed in the Morvan Regional Natural Park (Central France), using untreated or defaunated soil blocks, transferred to another land-use or replaced in their original landuse. Land-use preference was quantified in untreated and untransferred samples from meadow and forest. Dispersal ability was estimated from the time at which species colonized defaunated samples in their own habitat. Soil preference was estimated from the colonization rate of defaunated samples by comparing transferred and untransferred soil blocks. Results showed that in the community, 6% of species were land-use generalists, 30% were soil generalists and 36% recolonized defaunated soil blocks within a week. Land-use preference, soil preference and dispersal ability were largely independent components of species characteristics. Although our experiment dealt only with small-scale colonization, comparisons between species showed that the dispersal type based on anatomical features (legs, antenna, furcula, visual apparatus) does not allow predicting the dispersal ability of these species. Discrepancies between land-use preference and soil preference suggest that other habitat features must be relevant for Collembola, and that a trade-off exists between eco-physiological and biotic interactions (including food) requirements.
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Contributor : Sébastien Barot Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, June 10, 2009 - 12:20:08 AM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 2:38:10 PM


  • HAL Id : bioemco-00393840, version 1


Appoline Auclerc, Jean-François Ponge, Sébastien Barot, Florence Dubs. Experimental assessment of habitat preference and dispersal ability of soil springtails. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Elsevier, 2009, 41, pp.1596-1604. ⟨bioemco-00393840⟩



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