Cross-taxa congruence, indicators and environmental gradients in soils under agricultural and extensive land management

Keith, Aidan M.; Boots, Bas; Hazard, Christina; Niechoj, Robin; Arroyo, Julio; Bending, Gary D.; Bolger, Tom; Breen, John; Clipson, Nicholas; Doohan, Fiona M.; Griffin, Christine T.; Schmidt, Olaf. 2012 Cross-taxa congruence, indicators and environmental gradients in soils under agricultural and extensive land management. European Journal of Soil Biology, 49 (Mar-Apr). 55-62.

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
N015196PP.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (1MB) | Preview


Important steps in developing reliable bioindicators for soil quality are characterising soil biodiversity and determining the response of its components to environmental factors across a range of land uses and soil types. Baseline data from a national survey in Ireland were used to explore relationships between diversity and composition of micro-organisms (bacteria, fungi, mycorrhiza), and micro-, meso- and macro-fauna (nematodes; mites; earthworms, ants) across a general gradient representing dominant land uses (arable, pasture, rough-grazing, forest and bogland). These diversity data were also linked to soil physico-chemical properties. Differences in diversity and composition of meso- and macro-fauna, but not microbes, were clear between agriculturally-managed (arable and pasture) and extensively-managed (rough-grazing and bogland) soils corresponding to a broad division between ‘mineral’ and ‘organic’ soils. The abundance, richness and composition of nematode and earthworm taxa were significantly congruent with a number of the other groups. Further analysis, using significant indicator species from each group, identified potential target taxa and linked them to soil environmental gradients. This study suggests that there is potential surrogacy between the diversity of key soil taxa groups and that different sets of bioindicators may be most effective under agricultural and extensive land use.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Parr
ISSN: 1164-5563
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: NOTICE: the attached document is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in European Journal of Soil Biology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in European Journal of Soil Biology, 49 (Mar-Apr). 55-62. 10.1016/j.ejsobi.2011.08.002
Additional Keywords: soil monitoring, land use, biodiversity, physico-chemical gradients, bioindicators, soil community structure
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Biology and Microbiology
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 21 Dec 2011 11:27 +0 (UTC)

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...