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Soil biological responses to, and feedbacks on, trophic rewilding.

A new interesting article has been published in Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2018 Oct 22;373(1761). pii: 20170448. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2017.0448. Review and titled:

Soil biological responses to, and feedbacks on, trophic rewilding.

Authors of this article are:

Andriuzzi WS, Wall DH.

A summary of the article is shown below:

Trophic rewilding-the (re)introduction of missing large herbivores and/or their predators-is increasingly proposed to restore biodiversity and biotic interactions, but its effects on soils have been largely neglected. The high diversity of soil organisms and the ecological functions they perform mean that the full impact of rewilding on ecosystems cannot be assessed considering only above-ground food webs. Here we outline current understanding on how animal species of rewilding interest affect soil structure, processes and communities, and how in turn soil biota may affect species above ground. We highlight considerable uncertainty in soil responses to and feedbacks on above-ground consumers, with potentially large implications for rewilding interactions with global change. For example, the impact of large herbivores on soil decomposers and plant-soil interactions could lead to reduced carbon sequestration, whereas herbivore interactions with keystone biota such as mycorrhizal fungi, dung beetles and bioturbators could promote native plants and ecosystem heterogeneity. Moreover, (re)inoculation of keystone soil biota could be considered as a strategy to meet some of the objectives of trophic rewilding. Overall, we call for the rewilding research community to engage more with soil ecology experts and consider above-ground-below-ground linkages as integral to assess potential benefits as well as pitfalls.This article is part of the theme issue ‘Trophic rewilding: consequences for ecosystems under global change’.

Check out the article’s website on Pubmed for more information:

This article is a good source of information and a good way to become familiar with topics such as:

above-ground–below-ground interactions;ecosystem engineer;large herbivore;restoration;soil biodiversity


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