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Open AccessArticle

Consumption Performance of Five Detritivore Species Feeding on Alnus glutinosa L. Leaf Litter in a Microcosm Experiment

1
Institute for Environmental Studies, Charles University in Prague, Benátská 2, Prague CZ-12801, Czech Republic
2
Institute of Soil Biology and SoWa Research Infrastructure, Biology Centre, Czech Academy of Sciences, Na Sádkách 7, České Budějovice CZ-37005, Czech Republic
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(12), 1080; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10121080
Received: 25 October 2019 / Revised: 15 November 2019 / Accepted: 24 November 2019 / Published: 27 November 2019
The present study was performed to assess the feeding performance of five detritivore species in a microcosm design. The test animals were four millipede species, Telodeinopus aoutii (Demange), Epibolus pulchripes (Gerstäcker), Cylindroiulus caeruleocinctus (Wood), Glomeris hexasticha (Brandt), and one isopod species, Porcellio scaber (Latreille), all feeding on Alnus glutinosa L. leaf litter for five consecutive weeks. At the end of each one-week interval, litter consumption, animal fresh weight, and excrement production were measured. Then, the feeding activity parameters for each species were calculated. Between big-size animal species, higher leaf consumption rates of 12.3–30.9 mg dry weight day−1 individual−1 were calculated for T. aoutii compared to those of 3.72–8.25 mg dry weight day−1 individual−1 for E. pulchripes. However, there was no difference in the consumption rates among small-size animals ranging from 0.46 to 1.65 mg dry weight day−1 individual−1. Excrement production rates followed a similar trend, as the consumption rates and the animals’ body weight remained constant during the experiment. Time was an important factor influencing the feeding activity of the animals, especially for the big-size group. Overall, the average assimilation efficiency of these species varied from 13.7% to 53.3%. The results of the present work will be the first step for understanding the ecological needs of these decomposer species in soil ecosystems. View Full-Text
Keywords: assimilation efficiency; degradation processes; feeding activity; litter decomposition; millipedes; organic matter; soil detritivore assimilation efficiency; degradation processes; feeding activity; litter decomposition; millipedes; organic matter; soil detritivore
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M. Ardestani, M.; Šustr, V.; Frouz, J. Consumption Performance of Five Detritivore Species Feeding on Alnus glutinosa L. Leaf Litter in a Microcosm Experiment. Forests 2019, 10, 1080.

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