Springtail community structure is influenced by functional traits but not biogeographic origin of leaf litter in soils of novel forest ecosystems

Laura J. Raymond-Léonard, Dominique Gravel, Peter B. Reich, I. Tanya Handa
2018 Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences  
With ongoing global change, shifts in the ranges of non-native species and resulting novel communities can modify biotic interactions and ecosystem processes. We hypothesized that traits and not biogeographic origin of novel plant communities will determine community structure of organisms that depend on plants for habitat or as a food resource. We tested the functional redundancy of novel tree communities by verifying if six pairs of congeneric European and North American tree species bearing
more » ... ee species bearing similar leaf litter traits resulted in similar ecological filters influencing the assembly of springtail (Collembola) communities at two sites. Litter biogeographic origin (native versus non-native) did not influence springtail community structure, but litter genus, which generally reflected trait differences, did. Our empirical evidence suggests that a functional trait approach may be indeed as relevant as, and complementary to, studying biogeographic origin to understand the ecological consequences of non-native tree species in soils of novel forest ecosystems.
doi:10.1098/rspb.2018.0647 pmid:29848651 fatcat:6eqv7aqztvgmvkdexlbulz56ma