Biodiv Sci ›› 2008, Vol. 16 ›› Issue (4): 407-416.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2008.07356

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Feedback mechanisms of soil biota to aboveground biology in terrestrial ecosystems

Wang Shaojun, Ruan Honghua()   

  1. Laboratory of Forestry Ecological Engineering of Jiangsu Province, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037
  • Received:2007-11-29 Accepted:2008-04-01 Online:2008-07-20 Published:2008-07-20
  • Contact: Ruan Honghua

Abstract:

Much attention has been paid to the studies of aboveground biological processes in terrestrial ecosystems. Mutual feedbacks between above- and belowground processes have recently become a central interest of ecologists. Soil biota, the most active portion in belowground systems, play crucial roles in processes such as nutrient cycling and energy transformation in terrestrial ecosystems. Soil biota, driven by resource heterogeneity, nutrient availability, and abiotic conditions, could impose direct or indirect and positive or negative feedbacks on aboveground biology by altering rates of nutrient mineralization and the spatial distribution of nutrient availability, rhizospheric hormones and the soil environment. We analyze spatial and temporal variations in soil functional diversity, soil foodweb structure, and the above- and belowground interactions across a wide range of terrestrial ecosystems. These analyses will improve our understanding of belowground ecological processes, and inform the management of ecosystem stability and biodiversity conservation in response to global changes.

Key words: soil biota, functional groups, feedback, pattern, mechanism