Nematode community resistant to deep soil frost in boreal forest soils

De Long, Jonathan R. and Laudon, Hjalmar and Blume-Werry, Gesche and Kardol, Paul (2016) Nematode community resistant to deep soil frost in boreal forest soils. Pedobiologia, 59 (5–6). pp. 243-251. ISSN 0031-4056

[img] PDF
de Long et al. 2016.pdf
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (1MB)
Official URL:


As global climate change advances, shifts in winter precipitation are becoming more common in high latitude ecosystems, resulting in less insulating snow cover and deeper soil frost. Long-term alterations to soil frost can impact on ecosystem processes such as decomposition, microbial activity and vegetation dynamics. In this study we utilized the longest running, well-characterized soil frost manipulation experiment in a boreal forest. We measured nematode family composition and feeding group abundances at four different soil layer depths from plots that had been subjected to deep soil frost for one and 11 years. The overall abundance of nematodes and the different feeding groups were unaffected by deep soil frost. However, a higher Maturity Index was weakly associated with deep soil frost (indicative of lower nutrient enrichment and more persister nematode (i.e., K-strategist) families), likely due to the loss of nutrients and reduced inputs from inhibited decomposition. Multivariate and regression analyses showed that most nematode families were weakly associated with dominant understory plant species and strongly associated with soil organic matter (SOM). This is probably the result of higher resource availability in the control plots, which is favorable to the nematode community. These results indicate that the nematode community was more strongly driven by the long-term indirect effects of deep soil frost on SOM as opposed to the direct effects. Our findings highlight that the indirect effects of altered winter precipitation and soil frost patterns may be more important than direct winter climate effects. Further, such indirect effects on SOM and the plant community that may affect the nematode community can only be seen in long-term experiments. Finally, given the critical role nematodes play in soil food webs and carbon and nutrient cycling, our results demonstrate the necessity of considering the response of nematodes to global climate change in boreal forest soils.

Item Type: Article
Language: English
Uncontrolled Keywords: Boreal forest
Future Forest Subject: Skogsbruk i klimatförändringens tid > Natur
Depositing User: Christer Enkvist
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2017 09:49
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2017 09:49

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item