Event Website

http://www.nafew2009.org/

Start Date

23-6-2009 9:20 AM

End Date

23-6-2009 9:40 AM

Description

Increasing demands for biofuels have opened the possibility for an overall decrease in the amount of residual coarse woody material (CWM) in forests. While CWM is known to be an important resource for saproxylic species that reside within downed logs, the relative importance of CWM for organisms residing beneath, in the soil is poorly understood. In this context, CWM likely modifies conditions as well as nutrient levels for soil communities that lie beneath. The relative importance of CWM for underlying soil communities may be accentuated in the black-spruce clay-belt region of Western Québec where soil nutrients are extremely limited by paludification and extensive Sphagnum growth. To better understand the importance of CWM for soil microarthropods in this region, we sampled the soil microarthropods directly under CWM and 50 cm. apart, in 20 sites representing different states of development of a black spruce-feather moss forest type. While previous studies in other forest types showed little effect of woody material, our preliminary results suggest that Oribatid mites are influenced by CWM. However, contrary to our expectations, they have lower abundances and diversity in soil directly under logs than in open areas. We hypothesize that as nutrients in the forest floor are rendered inaccessible due to the thick Sphagnum layer of this forest, detritivore mites depend on recent leaf litter as nutrient resource. Conversely, logs in this case are likely to work as a cover to litter fall.

 
Jun 23rd, 9:20 AM Jun 23rd, 9:40 AM

Influence of Coarse Woody Material (CWM) on Soil Microarthropods in Black Spruce-Feather Moss Forests of Western Quebec

Increasing demands for biofuels have opened the possibility for an overall decrease in the amount of residual coarse woody material (CWM) in forests. While CWM is known to be an important resource for saproxylic species that reside within downed logs, the relative importance of CWM for organisms residing beneath, in the soil is poorly understood. In this context, CWM likely modifies conditions as well as nutrient levels for soil communities that lie beneath. The relative importance of CWM for underlying soil communities may be accentuated in the black-spruce clay-belt region of Western Québec where soil nutrients are extremely limited by paludification and extensive Sphagnum growth. To better understand the importance of CWM for soil microarthropods in this region, we sampled the soil microarthropods directly under CWM and 50 cm. apart, in 20 sites representing different states of development of a black spruce-feather moss forest type. While previous studies in other forest types showed little effect of woody material, our preliminary results suggest that Oribatid mites are influenced by CWM. However, contrary to our expectations, they have lower abundances and diversity in soil directly under logs than in open areas. We hypothesize that as nutrients in the forest floor are rendered inaccessible due to the thick Sphagnum layer of this forest, detritivore mites depend on recent leaf litter as nutrient resource. Conversely, logs in this case are likely to work as a cover to litter fall.

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/nafecology/sessions/processes/5