Navigation Links
Peacekeeping creatures help maintain woodland diversity
Date:9/20/2011

Common woodland creatures, including woodlice, millipedes and worms, can help ensure the survival of weaker species of woodland fungi, according to new research from Cardiff University.

Huge fungal networks, often stretching over several hectares of woodland, compete with each other for space and resources and, now, findings have shown that invertebrates living on the woodland floor have the potential to govern the outcome of these battles.

Likening what happens in woodlands to the popular Nintendo Wii game, Spore Wars, Ph.D student Tom Crowther's study has just been published in the international journal Ecology Letters. His findings reveal that, by feeding on the most combative fungi, invertebrates ensure that less competitive species are not entirely destroyed or digested.

Tom said, "By not allowing the most dominant fungus to destroy all opponents, fungal diversity is maintained within the woodland. This is an important process as fungi are responsible for maintaining soil quality and fertility, allowing our native trees and plants to grow, and the woodland itself to function.

"We also know that the diversity of soil organisms plays a major role in determining plant diversity. In many ways, what happens in the woodland is very much like the game Spore Wars. Without these invertebrates acting as peacekeepers, many important fungal species would be displaced reducing fungal diversity and ultimately affecting the cycling and recycling of nutrients within the soil."

Tom, a student at the Cardiff School of Biosciences, based his work on laboratory microcosm studies, developed with his Ph.D supervisors, Professor Lynne Boddy and Dr Hefin Jones.

The study is the first to show how predicted changes in soil fauna, as a result of current climate change, may potentially have major consequences for the functioning of Britain's woodland ecosystems.

Considering the implications of the results, Tom said, "It's possible that what we've seen happen in woodland may also take place in all other soil environments. Soil invertebrates may not only be important in ensuring the health of our forests by maintaining fungal diversity, they may also be crucial for our garden and agricultural soils."


'/>"/>
Contact: Stephen Rouse
rouses@cardiff.ac.uk
44-292-087-5596
Cardiff University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Coastal creatures may have reduced ability to fight off infections in acidified oceans
2. Marine scientists return with rare creatures from the deep
3. Sea creatures sex protein provides new insight into diabetes
4. Snakes, salamanders and other creatures thrive in areas with higher deer populations
5. Melanins trick for maintaining radioprotection studied
6. U of M researchers discover gene required to maintain male sex throughout life
7. Putting on the pounds after weight loss? Hit the gym to maintain health gains
8. Study offers first explanation of how cells rapidly repair and maintain structure
9. Researchers define role of CEP290 in maintaining ciliary function
10. Study shows genes role in developing and maintaining cells key for a lifetime of memories
11. Calcium connections: Basic pathway for maintaining cells fuel stores
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/4/2017)... 4, 2017  For the thousands of attendees at this year,s International ... connected health and biometric measurement devices and services, will be featuring its ... display in A&D Medical,s special CES Exhibit Suite , the new ... of the company,s WellnessConnected product platform.  ... ...
(Date:12/22/2016)... VIEW, Calif. , Dec. 20, 2016  As part ... levels, 23andMe, the leading personal genetics company, recently released its ... Me . The book focuses on the topics of ... Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) taught in elementary school classrooms ... second in a series by illustrator Ariana Killoran , ...
(Date:12/20/2016)... 20, 2016   Valencell , the leading ... STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader ... announced today the launch of a new, highly ... that includes ST,s compact SensorTile turnkey ... biometric sensor system. Together, SensorTile and Benchmark deliver ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/23/2017)... ... January 23, 2017 , ... AxioMed will be presenting its ... meeting in Montego Bay, Jamaica from January 26-28th. “We’re excited to be presenting ... to experience the simplicity of the surgical technique,” said Jake Lubinski, President of ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... ... January 20, 2017 , ... Nipro Corporation (Osaka, Japan) and Transonic Systems ... Nipro will receive exclusive marketing and sales rights for all non-OEM Transonic products in ... patients in Japan, the new Nipro - Transonic JV is a natural next step ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... , Jan. 20, 2017 Bioptix, Inc. ... "Company"), announced that on January 14, 2017 the Board ... which the Company will terminate certain employees associated with ... Inc.  The Company commenced terminations on January 16, 2017 ... days.  The Company may pay severance benefits in certain ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... 20, 2017 , ... The two newest companies to join the University City ... spin out from The Wistar Institute, and Sanguis, launched by a trio of students ... , Vironika is developing a treatment for a chronic viral infection and its ...
Breaking Biology Technology: