Spatio-temporal structure of an earthworm community and soil heterogeneity in a tropical pasture (Carimagua, Colombia)
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Decaëns, Thibaud; Rossi, Jean-Pierre. 2001. Spatio-temporal structure of an earthworm community and soil heterogeneity in a tropical pasture (Carimagua, Colombia). In: Jiménez Jaén, Juan José; Thomas, Richard J. (eds.). Nature`s plow: Soil macroinvertebrate communities in the neotropical savannas of Colombia. Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT), Cali, CO. p. 338-357. (CIAT publication no. 324)
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/55180
Only a small part of the spatio-temporal structures of earthworm distribution was correlated with soil properties. Small species were more abundant in patches were soil was more compact, while large species were associated with high root biomass and total C levels. The question whether earthworm spatiotemporal distribution induces similar patterns in soil properties or the contrary occurs is discussed. Our results suggest that earthworm community organization mostly corresponds to a non-equilibrium system where mobile earthworm populations influence soil properties. The overall effect of earthworm community on soil is difficult to assess due to the predominance of factors that preferentially express themselves at large scales in the ecological hierarchy.