Habitat fragmentation

Sarah Rose Smith
Soil microarthropods were surveyed for one year in order to see if the theory of island biogeography held true for micro-communities. Soil fauna were collected on a bi-monthly basis at a previously disturbed site in the New Jersey Pine Plains on natural regrowth islands. In conjunction with the survey an experimental survey was also conducted using defaunated soil patches, which were examined on a bi-monthly basis from September 2011- May 2011. Soil fauna on natural regrowth islands responded
more » ... islands responded positively to island area and litter depth, and there was clear separation of soil fauna communities between the main lands the regrowth islands. Defaunated islands displayed changes in community assemblage over time and there were clear differences between soil fauna types and the ability to colonize new island habitats. There was a change in community structure over time as early colonizers were able to prosper for a short amount of time, followed by a slower dispersing suite of microarthropods that were able to establish and flourish in the defaunated habitat for a longer period of time. Overall, the study showed that soil microarthropod communities follow the assumptions of Mac Arthur and Wilson's theory of island biogeography and that certain species are limited by their dispersal capabilities.
doi:10.7282/t37s7mc7 fatcat:iuiqfw7b2zgwfnv6v4exqg4ude