Pallieter De Smedt

Pallieter De Smedt
Ghent University | UGhent · Department of Environment

PhD
Postdoc Researcher at the Forest & Nature Lab, Ghent University

About

125
Publications
29,385
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
849
Citations

Publications

Publications (125)
Chapter
This chapter focuses on historical microclimates and how they can help us to predict the future. It summarizes the drivers and effects of past, present and future climate, land‐use and forest management on temporal dynamics in understory microclimate, and methods to infer historical microclimates. The chapter outlines the implications for forest bi...
Article
Landscape composition and its related functional agrobiodiversity (FAB) was severely simplified during the last decades. As landscape composition is expected to influence the interrelated microclimate and arthropod community at different scales, this simplification might have led to a decline in multiple agro‐ecosystem services, with potential impa...
Article
Full-text available
Although diversity and abundance of arthropods have been shown to decline globally, they are underrepresented in nature conservation efforts and policies. Belowground taxa are especially neglected, despite their key roles in ecosystem functioning. Terrestrial isopods are litter and soil dwelling and important contributors to litter decomposition an...
Article
Full-text available
We report two sightings of Trachyzelotes pedestris catching or attempting to catch a terrestrial isopod of the species Porcellio scaber. Observations of oniscophagy are rare in most spider species and to our knowledge these are the first sightings of a Gnaphosidae spider preying on terrestrial isopods. We propose a potential hunting strategy of thi...
Article
Full-text available
In March 2021, a terrestrial isopod unknown to Belgium was photographed in a city park in Ieper (West-Vlaanderen, Belgium). After close examination, it could be concluded that it was Porcellionides cingendus (Kinahan, 1857), an Atlantic species occurring from Ireland and the UK to Portugal. In autumn 2021, an extensive inventory was carried out to...
Article
Full-text available
Most spiders are mobile and easily transported across the world via human activity, making them ideal candidates for biological invasions. Mermessus trilobatus (Emerton, 1882) is one of Europe’s most invasive spider species and one of the few invasive spider species that successfully invade (semi-) natural ecosystems. Yet, its invasion success is n...
Article
Full-text available
This data paper describes a recent and spatially complete inventory of the terrestrial isopods of Belgium between 2011 and 2020. During these 10 years every 10 × 10 km² cell of the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) grid in Belgium (373 grid cells) was visited in search for terrestrial isopods. Inventories covered different habitat types in every...
Article
Full-text available
We report a new species of millipede for the Belgian fauna: Ophyiulus pilosus (Newport, 1842). This species has been expected to occur in Belgium because of its occurrence in neighboring countries. Surprisingly, the first record was made in a deciduous forest in the center of the country. We argue that the species is possibly widespread but rare in...
Article
Full-text available
Odiellus spinosus is a harvestman species originating in southern Europe, but showing a remarkable expansion of its range in Belgium and Western Europe since 1990. The strong increase in the number of records is caused by the expanding range of the species as well as by the launch of the application ObsIdentify. This application enables the identif...
Article
Full-text available
Forests host most terrestrial biodiversity and their sustainable management is crucial to halt biodiversity loss. Although scientific evidence indicates that sustainable forest management (SFM) should be assessed by monitoring multi-taxon biodiversity, most current SFM criteria and indicators account only for trees or consider indirect biodiversity...
Article
Full-text available
Trees have a strong influence on the chemical properties of the soil in which they grow. Establishing plantations with different tree species combinations thus potentially leads to divergence in soil chemistry. To study the degree to which differentiation already occurs during the first years after establishment, we made use of a biodiversity–ecosy...
Article
Full-text available
Forests host most terrestrial biodiversity and their sustainable management is crucial to halt biodiversity loss. Although scientific evidence indicates that sustainable forest management (SFM) should be assessed by monitoring multi-taxon biodiversity, most current SFM criteria and indicators account only for trees or consider indirect biodiversity...
Article
Contemporary forest management strives to satisfy contrasting demands on forest ecosystems by promoting multiple ecosystem services. These services are affected in varied manners by alternative management actions operating at local or landscape scales, potentially leading to trade‐offs and synergies that may impede or encourage forest managers to c...
Article
Trees impact the chemical properties of the soil in which they grow. When planting forests, the choice of tree species and species combinations is thus expected to partly determine the spatial variation in soil properties, even in the early stages of forest development. We made use of a biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiment in Belgium, FORB...
Article
Full-text available
Field surveys carried out between 2011 and 2020 resulted in an extensive dataset of terrestrial isopod observations covering the complete territory of Belgium. Every grid cell of the UTM 10 × 10 km² grid was visited and in each grid cell a forest, a riverbank or streamside, and an anthropogenic habitat were surveyed. 35 out of the 36 species living...
Article
Forests exhibit lower inter-seasonal climatic variation compared to open landscape types. Because fauna activity is influenced by a site’s microclimate, we expect these more stable conditions translate into smaller intra-annual variation in activity patterns of soil fauna in forests. We assessed differences in activity of terrestrial isopods across...
Article
Full-text available
Disturbances are an integral part of ecosystem dynamics. However, large- scale, intensive and non-recurrent disturbances often have disastrous and sometimes irreversible consequences for biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. In this article we study the impact of World War I on biodiversity in frontline forests that were totally destroyed. By loo...
Article
• Macro‐detritivores are important fragmenters performing a first step in the ecosystem process of nutrient cycling. Woodlice and millipedes are important representatives of this group and their ecology and niche requirements are often regarded as very similar. However, it is unclear whether there is a difference in temporal activity throughout the...
Article
Full-text available
During World War One (WWI) many forests along the frontline were completely destroyed and wept out a large part of the biological diversity. Therefore, these forests provide the opportunity to study the effects of such a large-scale disturbance on biodiversity recovery 100 years later. We analysed harvestmen (Opiliones) communities in oak forests b...
Article
Communities across trophic levels, and the functional roles they play, are vital for the sustained provision of ecosystem services. In forest systems, diversification of overstorey composition has been shown to be a key driver of biodiversity, but its influence on across‐trophic level relationships remains scarcely known. Species across trophic lev...
Article
Aim The spatio‐temporal connectivity of forest patches in lowland agricultural landscapes and their age matter to explain current biodiversity patterns across regional as well as biogeographical extents, to the point that their effect exceeds the one of macroclimate for plant diversity in the understorey of temperate forests. Whether this remains t...
Article
Full-text available
Current analyses and predictions of spatially‐explicit patterns and processes in ecology most often rely on climate data interpolated from standardized weather stations. This interpolated climate data represents long‐term average thermal conditions at coarse spatial resolutions only. Hence, many climate‐forcing factors that operate at fine spatiote...
Article
Full-text available
Categorizing species with respect to their affinity to forest ecosystems can help to assess forest habitat quality and support scientifically based decision-making for management. Recently, a set of forest affinity assessments was published covering 25% of the German fauna. Unfortunately, terrestrial isopods were not included, despite their importa...
Article
Full-text available
Landpissebedden (Isopoda: Oniscidea) zijn een unieke groep bodemdieren doordat ze nagenoeg als enige kreeftachtige de overgang van het water naar het land succesvol hebben doorgemaakt. Desondanks zijn ze nog steeds sterk gebonden aan vochtige omstandigheden en zijn ze zeer gevoelig voor uitdroging. Het hoeft dan ook niet te verbazen dat boshabitat...
Article
Full-text available
Current analyses and predictions of spatially‐explicit patterns and processes in ecology most often rely on climate data interpolated from standardized weather stations. This interpolated climate data represents long‐term average thermal conditions at coarse spatial resolutions only. Hence, many climate‐forcing factors that operate at fine spatiote...
Book
Full-text available
(In Dutch with English and French summaries per species and with English identification key) Terrestrial isopods (woodlice) can be extremely abundant in terrestrial ecosystems and are vital for ecosystem functioning. Being detritivores, they perform the first step in the breakdown of organic matter and are therefore crucial for nutrient cycling an...
Article
Leaf litter from forest understorey species has very different characteristics (e.g. a higher nutrient content) which are regarded to be more palatable and digestible for the decomposer community compared to litter from the overstorey trees. Consequently, the decomposition of tree litter may show different dynamics when mixed with litter from herb...
Article
Global forest loss and fragmentation have strongly increased the frequency of forest patches smaller than a few hectares. Little is known about the biodiversity and ecosystem service supply potential of such small woodlands in comparison to larger forests. As it is widely recognized that high biodiversity levels increase ecosystem functionality and...
Article
Full-text available
Plant diversity is an important driver of diversity at other trophic levels, suggesting that cascading extinctions could reduce overall biodiversity. Most evidence for positive effects of plant diversity comes from grasslands. Despite the fact that forests are hotspots of biodiversity, the importance of tree diversity, in particular its relative im...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Forests are highly fragmented across Western Europe, making forest edges important features in many agricultural landscapes. Forest edges are subject to strong abiotic gradients altering the forest environment and resulting in strong biotic gradients. This has the potential to change the forest's capacity to provide multiple ecosystem services...
Article
Fragmentation strongly shapes the distribution of organisms within forest patches through contrasting environmental conditions between the edge and interior habitat. Edge-to-interior distribution patterns are, however, poorly studied for litter- and soil-dwelling fauna, such as terrestrial gastropods, despite their high densities and significant im...
Article
Bats and birds are key providers of ecosystem services in forests. How climate and habitat jointly shape their communities is well studied, but whether biotic predictors from other trophic levels may improve bird and bat diversity models is less known, especially across large bioclimatic gradients. Here, we achieved multi-taxa surveys in 209 mature...
Article
Full-text available
We sampled macro-moths on a weekly basis for 14 months on a tower in an ancient deciduous forest in Belgium. Light and bait traps were used at ground level and at 7, 14, 21, 28 and 35 m height in the forest. We analysed total moth abundance along the vertical gradient and distribution patterns of individual species and families, using generalised l...
Article
Full-text available
Woodlice are key organisms for nutrient cycling in many terrestrial ecosystems; however, knowledge on this invertebrate group is limited as for other soil fauna taxa. Here, we present an annotated checklist of the woodlice of Belgium, a small but densely populated country in Western Europe. We reviewed all 142 publications on Belgian woodlice, the...
Article
Ground dwelling arthropods present in agricultural systems regulate multiple ecosystem services (ES), such as nutrient and carbon cycling and biological pest control. The presence of semi-natural landscape features, such as the tree component of agroforestry systems (AFS), can contribute to functional agrobiodiversity and optimize the delivery of s...
Article
Full-text available
Bossen in West-Europa zijn sterk gefragmenteerd door eeuwenlange veranderingen in landgebruik. Het resultaat zijn landbouwlandschappen met kleine, versnipperde bosfragmenten. Deze habitatfragmentatie zet een grote druk op de biodiversiteit en de ecosysteemdiensten die de bosfragmenten kunnen vervullen. Bovendien resulteert bosfragmentatie in een gr...
Article
Full-text available
Populations of Common Tree Frog Hyla arborea and Great Crested Newt Triturus cristatus in Flanders have experience declines for several decades. Even now these species are respectively critically endangered and vulnerable. But things are about to change. For instance today the overall Tree Frog population amounts to several thousand individuals, wh...
Article
Full-text available
Global environmental changes are expected to alter the functional characteristics of understorey herb-layer communities, potentially affecting forest ecosystem functioning. However, little is known about what drives the variability of functional traits in forest understories. Here, we assessed the role of different environmental drivers in shaping...
Article
• Moths are a diverse and abundant species group, playing important functional roles in many terrestrial ecosystems, as pollinators, herbivores and as bulk food for many other taxa. • Forests are complex ecosystems and beside horizontal variation, they exhibit a very diverse vertical structure, creating a matrix of micro‐niches along the vertical...
Article
Forests are structurally rich ecosystems with strong spatial variation in microclimate. Local temperature and soil moisture are important drivers of leaf litter breakdown, a key ecosystem process vital for forest functioning. Additionally, detritivore species composition and activity are equally dependent on microclimate, rendering changes in micro...
Article
Full-text available
Forest edges have become important features in landscapes worldwide. Edges are exposed to a different microclimate and higher atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition compared to forest interiors. It is, however, unclear how microclimate and elevated N deposition affect nutrient cycling at forest edges. We studied litter decomposition and release of N,...
Article
Full-text available
The role of intraspecific trait variability is increasingly recognized as a key factor shaping plant fitness and community assembly worldwide. Studying the direct effects of habitat heterogeneity on trait expression of individual plants of the same species is a useful tool to quantify intraspecific trait variability locally. We investigated how hab...
Book
Full-text available
Humans strongly affect landscapes via land-use changes. Forests have been profoundly fragmented around the world due to land conversion for agriculture. Hence, many landscapes consist of small, isolated forest fragments embedded in an agricultural matrix, which puts severe pressure on the forests’ biodiversity and the multiple ecosystem services th...
Article
Small forest patches embedded in agricultural (and peri-urban) landscapes in Western Europe play a key role for biodiversity conservation with a recognized capacity of delivering a wide suite of ecosystem services. Measures aimed to preserve these patches should be both socially desirable and ecologically effective. This study presents a joint ecol...
Article
Full-text available
PurposeMost of the agricultural landscape in Europe, and elsewhere, consists of mosaics with scattered fragments of semi-natural habitat like small forest fragments. Mutual interactions between forest fragments and agricultural areas influence ecosystem processes such as nutrient cycling, a process strongly mediated by the macrodetritivore communit...
Article
Forest edges show strong abiotic and biotic gradients potentially altering community composition and ecosystem processes such as nutrient cycling. While abiotic gradients are well studied, short-scale biotic gradients, like detritivore species composition and their associated trait distribution remains a poorly explored research-field. We sampled w...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The tick Ixodes ricinus has considerable impact on the health of humans and other terrestrial animals because it transmits several tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) such as B. burgdorferi (sensu lato), which cause Lyme borreliosis (LB). Small forest patches of agricultural landscapes provide many ecosystem services and also the disservice of...