Repeated Raking of Pine Plantations Alters Soil Arthropod Communities
AbstractTerrestrial arthropods in forests are engaged in vital ecosystem functions that ultimately help maintain soil productivity. Repeated disturbance can cause abrupt and irreversible changes in arthropod community composition and thereby alter trophic interactions among soil fauna. An increasingly popular means of generating income from pine plantations in the Southeastern U.S. is annual raking to collect pine litter. We raked litter once per year for three consecutive years in the pine plantations of three different species (loblolly, Pinus taeda; longleaf, P. palustris; and slash, P. elliottii). We sampled arthropods quarterly for three years in raked and un-raked pine stands to assess temporal shifts in abundance among dominant orders of arthropods. Effects varied greatly among orders of arthropods, among timber types, and among years. Distinct trends over time were apparent among orders that occupied both high trophic positions (predators) and low trophic positions (fungivores, detritivores). Multivariate analyses demonstrated that raking caused stronger shifts in arthropod community composition in longleaf and loblolly than slash pine stands. Results highlight the role of pine litter in shaping terrestrial arthropod communities, and imply that repeated removal of pine straw during consecutive years is likely to have unintended consequences on arthropod communities that exacerbate over time. View Full-Text
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Ober, H.K.; DeGroote, L.W. Repeated Raking of Pine Plantations Alters Soil Arthropod Communities. Forests 2014, 5, 689-714.
Ober HK, DeGroote LW. Repeated Raking of Pine Plantations Alters Soil Arthropod Communities. Forests. 2014; 5(4):689-714.Chicago/Turabian Style
Ober, Holly K.; DeGroote, Lucas W. 2014. "Repeated Raking of Pine Plantations Alters Soil Arthropod Communities." Forests 5, no. 4: 689-714.