Protozoan Pulses Unveil Their Pivotal Position Within the Soil Food Web

Felicity V. Crotty*, Sina M. Adl, Rod P. Blackshaw, Philip J. Murray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Protozoa are one of the most abundant groups of bacterivores within the soil and are responsible for mineralisation of bacterial biomass, having a large impact on C and N cycling. Little is known of their contribution to soil nutrient transfers or the identity of their consumers. Here, for the first time indigenous flagellates and ciliates, enriched to 83 atom% for C-13 and 10 atom% for N-15, were introduced to soil cores from two different land managements, grassland and woodland with the same soil type, to trace the flow of protozoan C and N through the soil food web. Nematodes, Collembola, earthworms and insect larvae obtained the greatest amounts of C and N of protozoan origin, either through direct consumption or uptake of biomass post-cell death. Our results show that changes in management, affect the functioning of the soil food web and the utilisation of protozoa as a food source.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)905-918
Number of pages14
JournalMicrobial Ecology
Volume63
Issue number4
Early online date12 Oct 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2012

Keywords

  • STABLE-ISOTOPE ANALYSIS
  • COLLEMBOLA
  • UPLAND GRASSLAND
  • COMMUNITY STRUCTURE
  • FOREST
  • MICROBIAL LOOP
  • GROWTH
  • C-13
  • DYNAMICS
  • N-15

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