Data from: Forest plant community as a driver of soil biodiversity: experimental evidence from collembolan assemblages through large-scale and long-term removal of oak canopy trees Quercus petraea
Henneron, Ludovic, Normandie Université
Aubert, Michaël, Normandie Université
Archaux, Fréderic, IRSTEA, Research Unit on Forest Ecosystems (EFNO); Nogent-sur-Vernisson France
Bureau, Fabrice, Normandie Université
Dumas, Yann, IRSTEA, Research Unit on Forest Ecosystems (EFNO); Nogent-sur-Vernisson France
Ningre, François, French National Institute for Agricultural Research
Richter, Claudine, National Forests Office
Balandier, Philippe, IRSTEA, Research Unit on Forest Ecosystems (EFNO); Nogent-sur-Vernisson France
Chauvat, Matthieu, Normandie Université
Published Sep 22, 2016 on Dryad.
Cite this dataset
Henneron, Ludovic et al. (2016). Data from: Forest plant community as a driver of soil biodiversity: experimental evidence from collembolan assemblages through large-scale and long-term removal of oak canopy trees Quercus petraea [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.dq3cf
Plant–soil interactions are increasingly recognized to play a major role in terrestrial ecosystems functioning. However, few studies to date have focused on slow dynamic ecosystems such as forests. As they are vertically stratified by multiple vegetation strata, canopy tree removal by thinning operations could alter forest plant community through tree canopy opening. Very little is known about cascading effects on soil biodiversity.
We conducted a large-scale, multi-site assessment of collembolan assemblage response to long-term canopy tree removal in sessile oak Quercus petraea temperate forests. A total of 33 experimental plots were studied covering a large gradient of canopy tree basal area, stand age and local abiotic contexts.
Collembolan abundance strongly declined with canopy tree removal in early forest successional stage and this was mediated by negative effect of understory plant community composition changes, i.e. shift from moss and forb to tree seedling, fern, shrub and grass species. Negative effect of this composition shift on collembolan species richness was largely offset by positive effect of the increase in understory plant species richness. This gives support to both the plant mass-ratio and functional diversity hypotheses. Collembolan functional groups had contrasting response patterns, which were mediated by different ecological factors. Epedaphic (r-strategist) abundance and species richness increased with canopy tree removal in relation with the increase in understory plant species richness. In contrast, euedaphic (K-strategist) abundance and species richness declined with canopy tree removal in early forest successional stage in relation with changes in understory plant community composition and species richness, as well as microclimatic conditions.
Overall, our study provides experimental evidence that forest plant community can be a strong driver of collembolan assemblages. It also emphasizes the role of trees as foundation species of forest ecosystems that can shape soil biodiversity through their regulation of understory plant community and ecosystem abiotic conditions.
Collembolan and understory plant abundance, diversity and community composition as well as environmental variables data
File includes data about the abundance and diversity of collembolan and their functional groups, i.e. epedaphic, hemiedaphic and euedaphic, on each experimental plots. It also includes plots characteristics, understory vegetation and environmental variables used in the path analysis. We also included the abundance and ordination scores of each species for both the collembolan and understory plant communities.