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Response of collembolan communities to land-use change and grassland succession

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This study focuses on the long-term changes of collembolan communities occurring after the conversion of arable land to managed grassland. We analysed collembolan communities at grassland sites of different age that had been gradually converted over a period of 50 yr. Abundance and biomass responded rapidly and very positively to the conversion of arable land to grassland, while species richness was not affected. Collembolan assemblages changed only little during grassland maturation. The impact of land-use change on community structure was more obvious at the functional level because the colonization processes observed in our study mostly relied on hemiedaphic species. Vegetation and soil parameters were good predictors of collembolan community structure during development of managed grassland. The present study demonstrated that past landscape patterns and processes like land-use conversion and subsequent succession had a considerable impact on the present day pattern of species richness and community composition of Collembola within a landscape. Our results strongly differ from those obtained for other invertebrate groups, highlighting on the one hand the very diverse reactions of invertebrates to a common factor, and on the other hand the need to survey more than one taxa in order to draw conclusions on effects of land-use change on faunistic communities.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2007

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