Empirical methods of identifying and quantifying trophic interactions for constructing soil food-web models
Heijboer, Amber ; Ruess, Liliane ; Traugott, Michael ; Jousset, Alexandre ; Ruiter, Peter C. de - \ 2017
In: Adaptive Food Webs Cambridge University Press - ISBN 9781107182110 - p. 257 - 286.
Introduction Food-web models, which depict the trophic relationships between organisms within a community, form a powerful and versatile approach to study the relationships between community structure and ecosystem functioning. Although food-web models have recently been applied to a wide range of ecological studies (Memmott, 2009; Sanders et al., 2014), such approaches can be greatly improved by introducing high-resolution trophic information from empirical studies and experiments that realistically describe topological structure and energy flows (de Ruiter et al., 2005). Over the last decades major technological advances have been made in empirically characterizing trophic networks by describing, in detail, the connectedness and flows in food webs. Existing empirical techniques, such as stable isotope probing (SIP) (Layman et al., 2012), have been refined and new approaches have been created by combining methods, e.g., combining Raman spectroscopy or fatty acid analysis with SIP (Ruess et al., 2005a; Li et al., 2013). These empirical methods can provide insight into different aspects of food webs and together form an extensive toolbox to investigate trophic interactions. It is crucial to recognize the potential and limitations of a range of empirical approaches in order to choose the right method in the design of empirically based food-web studies. Empirically based food webs are generally classified according to the type of input information that is required. In the following lines we will provide an overview of four types of food-web model: connectedness webs, semi-quantitative webs, energy-flow webs, and functional webs. Paine (1980) introduced three of those webs, which are widely accepted and applied in food-web studies across ecosystems. We propose to add a fourth type of empirically based food web, the semi-quantitative web. All of these food webs have the same basic structure, but the conceptual webs differ in the type of trophic information they describe and represent (Figure 16.1). Connectedness webs (Figure 16.1a) define the basic structure of a food web by describing the food-web connections per se.
Priorities for research in soil ecology
Eisenhauer, Nico ; Antunes, Pedro M. ; Bennett, Alison E. ; Birkhofer, Klaus ; Bissett, Andrew ; Bowker, Matthew A. ; Caruso, Tancredi ; Chen, Baodong ; Coleman, David C. ; Boer, Wietse de; Ruiter, Peter de; DeLuca, Thomas H. ; Frati, Francesco ; Griffiths, Bryan S. ; Hart, Miranda M. ; Hättenschwiler, Stephan ; Haimi, Jari ; Heethoff, Michael ; Kaneko, Nobuhiro ; Kelly, Laura C. ; Leinaas, Hans Petter ; Lindo, Zoë ; Macdonald, Catriona ; Rillig, Matthias C. ; Ruess, Liliane ; Scheu, Stefan ; Schmidt, Olaf ; Seastedt, Timothy R. ; Straalen, Nico M. van; Tiunov, Alexei V. ; Zimmer, Martin ; Powell, Jeff R. - \ 2017
Pedobiologia 63 (2017). - ISSN 0031-4056 - p. 1 - 7.
Aboveground-belowground interactions - Biodiversity–ecosystem functioning - Biogeography - Chemical ecology - Climate change - Ecosystem services - Global change - Microbial ecology - Novel environments - Plant-microbe interactions - Soil biodiversity - Soil food web - Soil management - Soil processes
The ecological interactions that occur in and with soil are of consequence in many ecosystems on the planet. These interactions provide numerous essential ecosystem services, and the sustainable management of soils has attracted increasing scientific and public attention. Although soil ecology emerged as an independent field of research many decades ago, and we have gained important insights into the functioning of soils, there still are fundamental aspects that need to be better understood to ensure that the ecosystem services that soils provide are not lost and that soils can be used in a sustainable way. In this perspectives paper, we highlight some of the major knowledge gaps that should be prioritized in soil ecological research. These research priorities were compiled based on an online survey of 32 editors of Pedobiologia – Journal of Soil Ecology. These editors work at universities and research centers in Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia. The questions were categorized into four themes: (1) soil biodiversity and biogeography, (2) interactions and the functioning of ecosystems, (3) global change and soil management, and (4) new directions. The respondents identified priorities that may be achievable in the near future, as well as several that are currently achievable but remain open. While some of the identified barriers to progress were technological in nature, many respondents cited a need for substantial leadership and goodwill among members of the soil ecology research community, including the need for multi-institutional partnerships, and had substantial concerns regarding the loss of taxonomic expertise.