Using Stable Isotopes to Differentiate Trophic Feeding Channels within Soil Food Webs

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature Reviewpeer-review

38 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

The soil is probably the most diverse habitat there is, with organisms ranging in sizes from less than 1 mu m to several metres in length. However, it is increasingly evident that we know little about the interactions occurring between these organisms, the functions that they perform as individual species, or together within their different feeding guilds. These interactions between groups of organisms and physical and chemical processes shape the soil as a habitat and influence the nature of the soil food web with consequences for the above-ground vegetation and food web. Protists are known as one of the most abundant groups of bacterivores within the soil; however, they are also consumers of a number of other food sources. Even though they are responsible for a large proportion of the mineralisation of bacterial biomass and have a large impact on the C and N cycles within the soil they are regularly overlooked when investigating the complete soil food web. Recently, stable isotopes have been used to determine trophic interactions and here we describe how this technique has been used to highlight linkages between protists and the soil food web.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)520-526
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Eukaryotic Microbiology
Volume59
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventJoint Meeting of the Phycological Society of America, International Society of Protistologists & Northwest Algal Symposium - Seattle, United States of America
Duration: 12 Jul 201116 Jul 2011

Keywords

  • BACTERIAL COMMUNITY COMPOSITION
  • MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES
  • soil invertebrates
  • protists
  • ARBUSCULAR MYCORRHIZAL FUNGI
  • FATTY-ACIDS
  • TESTATE AMEBAS
  • LITTER INTERFACE
  • decomposers
  • soil ecology
  • PLANT-GROWTH
  • FIELD SOIL
  • RICE ORYZA-SATIVA
  • Community structure
  • ACANTHAMOEBA-CASTELLANII
  • energy channels

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