Mapping earthworm communities in Europe

Rutgers, Michiel; Orgiazzi, Alberto; Gardi, Ciro; Rombke, Jörg; Jansch, Stephan; Keith, Aidan M.; Neilson, Roy; Boag, Brian; Schmidt, Olaf; Murchie, Archie K.; Blackshaw, Rod P.; Peres, Guénola; Cluzeau, Daniel; Guernion, Muriel; Briones, Maria J.I.; Rodeiro, Javier; Pineiro, Raúl; Cosin, Darío J. Díaz; Sousa, J. Paulo; Suhadolc, Marjetka; Kos, Ivan; Krogh, Paul-Henning; Faber, Jack H.; Mulder, Christian; Bogte, Jaap J.; van Wijnen, Harm J; Schouten, Anton J.; de Zwart, Dick. 2016 Mapping earthworm communities in Europe [in special issue: Soil biodiversity and ecosystem functions across Europe: a transect covering variations in bio-geographical zones, land use and soil properties] Applied Soil Ecology, 97. 98-111.

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Existing data sets on earthworm communities in Europe were collected, harmonized, collated, modelled and depicted on a soil biodiversity map. Digital Soil Mapping was applied using multiple regressions relating relatively low density earthworm community data to soil characteristics, land use, vegetation and climate factors (covariables) with a greater spatial resolution. Statistically significant relationships were used to build habitat–response models for maps depicting earthworm abundance and species diversity. While a good number of environmental predictors were significant in multiple regressions, geographical factors alone seem to be less relevant than climatic factors. Despite differing sampling protocols across the investigated European countries, land use and geological history were the most relevant factors determining the demography and diversity of the earthworms. Case studies from country-specific data sets (France, Germany, Ireland and The Netherlands) demonstrated the importance and efficiency of large databases for the detection of large spatial patterns that could be subsequently applied at smaller (local) scales.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Parr
ISSN: 0929-1393
Additional Keywords: digital soil mapping, earthworm community, EcoFINDERS, soil atlas, soil biodiversity
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Agriculture and Soil Science
Date made live: 15 Sep 2015 11:58 +0 (UTC)

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