Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Ecology


Changes in soil food web structure of the decomposer system with land use intensity in forest systems



The project is part of the DFG Schwerpunkprogramm “Biodiversity Exploratories” for large-scale and long-term biodiversity research. The principle investigator is Prof. Stefan Scheu, University of Göttingen.

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The objectives of the Biodiversity Exploratories are to understand the relationship between biodiversity and land use and the role of biodiversity for ecosystem processes. The present project integrates the soil animal community is an integral and essential part of terrestrial ecosystems. Its functioning is critical for element cycling and thereby feeds back to plants and the aboveground system. Using quantitative sampling methodologies density and biomass of soil invertebrates of the litter decomposer community is studied. Food web structure will be evaluated by a combination of methods including stable isotope analysis, lipid analysis and molecular gut content analysis. These novel methodologies complement each other and will allow to assess trophic links within the soil animal food web in unprecedented detail.




Discriminant function analysis on the effect of habitat (forest stand) on the lipid composition of Collembola (Ruess et al. 2005)