Functional ecology of soil organisms in tundra ecosystems: towards the future

I D Hodkinson, Philip Wookey

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    32 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The need to understand the functional linkages between Arctic/alpine soil communities and the major soil processes is stressed. Soil organisms are classified into broad functional groups and it is suggested that the functional success of any organism can be defined by its position along four axes, namely population responsiveness, dispersability, ecophysiological flexibility and resource use flexibility. Each of these axes is defined by reference to a spectrum of relevant ecological attributes. The resilience and response of tundra communities to change are discussed and the possible alteration in community structure and function that may result from shifting climate patterns are reviewed. The interrelationship between the spatial distribution patterns of organisms and their dispersability is highlighted and the significance of the thermal environment in moderating the competitive interaction between species is emphasised. The advantages and disadvantages of various approaches to studying the effect of climate change on Arctic/alpine community structure and function are contrasted. In particular, the manipulative experimental approach is distinguished from the comparative approach that makes use of measurements taken along geographical/ecological transects as analogues for climate change. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)111-126
    Number of pages16
    JournalApplied Soil Ecology
    Volume11
    Issue number2-3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 1999

    Keywords

    • Arctic soil
    • tundra ecosystem
    • community structure and function
    • biodiversity
    • climate change
    • SIMULATED CLIMATE-CHANGE
    • ARCTIC POLAR SEMIDESERT
    • ENVIRONMENTAL-CHANGE
    • LITTER DECOMPOSITION
    • SUMMER TEMPERATURES
    • COMMUNITY
    • RESPONSES
    • PLANTS
    • MICROARTHROPODS
    • SPITSBERGEN

    Cite this