Diversity 2012, 4(4), 363-374; doi:10.3390/d4040363
Article

Soil Nematodes and Their Prokaryotic Prey Along an Elevation Gradient in The Mojave Desert (Death Valley National Park, California, USA)

Received: 27 August 2012; in revised form: 16 September 2012 / Accepted: 27 September 2012 / Published: 15 October 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Quality and Ecosystem)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: We characterized soil communities in the Mojave Desert across an elevation gradient. Our goal was to test the hypothesis that as soil quality improved with increasing elevation (due to increased productivity), the diversity of soil prokaryotes and nematodes would also increase. Soil organic matter and soil moisture content increased with elevation as predicted. Soil salinity did not correlate to elevation, but was highest at a mid-gradient, alluvial site. Soil nematode density, community trophic structure, and diversity did not show patterns related to elevation. Similar results were obtained for diversity of bacteria and archaea. Relationships between soil properties, nematode communities, and prokaryotic diversity were site-specific. For example, at the lowest elevation site, nematode communities contained a high proportion of fungal-feeding species and diversity of bacteria was lowest. At a high-salinity site, nematode density was highest, and overall, nematode density showed an unexpected, positive correlation to salinity. At the highest elevation site, nematode density and species richness were attenuated, despite relatively high moisture and organic matter content for the soils. Our results support emerging evidence for the lack of a relationship between productivity and the diversity of soil nematodes and prokaryotes.
Keywords: archaea; bacteria; diversity; hot desert; nematodes; PCR-DGGE; productivity; species richness
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MDPI and ACS Style

Treonis, A.; Sutton, K.; Kavanaugh, B.; Narla, A.; McLlarky, T.; Felder, J.; O’Leary, C.; Riley, M.; Pikus, A.; Thomas, S. Soil Nematodes and Their Prokaryotic Prey Along an Elevation Gradient in The Mojave Desert (Death Valley National Park, California, USA). Diversity 2012, 4, 363-374.

AMA Style

Treonis A, Sutton K, Kavanaugh B, Narla A, McLlarky T, Felder J, O’Leary C, Riley M, Pikus A, Thomas S. Soil Nematodes and Their Prokaryotic Prey Along an Elevation Gradient in The Mojave Desert (Death Valley National Park, California, USA). Diversity. 2012; 4(4):363-374.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Treonis, Amy; Sutton, Kelsey; Kavanaugh, Brendan; Narla, Archana; McLlarky, Timothy; Felder, Jasmine; O’Leary, Cecilia; Riley, Megan; Pikus, Alyxandra; Thomas, Sarah. 2012. "Soil Nematodes and Their Prokaryotic Prey Along an Elevation Gradient in The Mojave Desert (Death Valley National Park, California, USA)." Diversity 4, no. 4: 363-374.

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