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Seasonal changes in the diversity and composition of the litter fauna in native forests and rubber plantations.


ABSTRACT: The litter layer of tropical forests supports a significant fraction of total arthropod diversity and decomposition of this layer is the main pathway by which nutrients are returned to the soil and CO2 to the atmosphere. Conversion of tropical forests to agriculture is the main threat to biodiversity and ecosystem services, and understanding effects on the litter layer is important for understanding and mitigating these impacts. We used high through-put DNA sequencing of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene to assess seasonal changes in the diversity and composition of the litter fauna at five matched pairs of native forests and rubber plantations in tropical SW China every month for a year, and measured the environmental factors expected to drive intra-annual variation. Forests and rubber had very different arthropod assemblages throughout the year, with forests more species-rich than rubber in all months except February. Very high rates of intra-annual turnover in species composition in both forests and rubber were associated with seasonality in environmental variables, with the influence of particular variables differing among taxa. Tropical arthropods are very sensitive to seasonality and sampling at only one time of the year captures only a subset of the total community.

SUBMITTER: Beng KC 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6035245 | BioStudies | 2018-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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