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DIVERSITY SURFACES AND SPECIES WAVE FRONTS IN A SOIL MICROARTHROPOD ASSEMBLAGE: ADDING THE DIMENSION OF TIME
JOHNSTON, J. M. DIVERSITY SURFACES AND SPECIES WAVE FRONTS IN A SOIL MICROARTHROPOD ASSEMBLAGE: ADDING THE DIMENSION OF TIME. Pedobiologia. Elsevier Science, New York, NY, 50(6):527-533, (2007).
The objective of this task is to develop, support and transfer a wide variety of tools and mathematical models that can be used to support watershed and water quality protection programs in support of OW, OSWER, and the Regions.
As a general rule, animal species of intermediate size within a given taxonomic group are most abundant in nature. It is not known if these patterns occur in small-bodied taxa, such as soil microarthropods, or how these patterns change through time. Here I show that Oribatida (Acari), the most abundant and diverse arthropod fauna of coniferous forest soils, exhibit this pattern. However, the pattern is more complex than reported for other arthropods. I analyzed the total species surface comprising 6613 individuals and 54 species by forest stand. The underlying pattern consists of 15-year stands and 30-year stands forming two distinct and separated maxima. These results suggest that assemblage patterns form early in the development of ecological communities, and that these patterns appear within the soil assemblage as waves propagating in species - abundance - body size space during forest development. These results also support the assertion that undescribed species will likely be of intermediate size within a group. This analysis contributes to investigations of biodiversity and body size relationships by adding the temporal dimension. Potential applications are in disturbance and indicator studies or other work where changes in assemblage structure are used as measures of disturbance or as response variables in manipulative studies.