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Adaptations of three springtail species to granite boulder habitats (Collembola)

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Abstract

Small spots of low vegetation on granite boulders in N Austria are inhabited by a characteristic collembolan coenosis. Ecophysiological properties of three frequent boulder-dwelling springtail species (representing two different life forms) were tested in field and laboratory experiments and related to the specific life habits. The euedaphic Onychiurus armatus lives exclusively in climatically stable plant cushions typically connected to the surrounding soil by moss strips. This habitat preference reveals the strict requirement of this species for moisture, its modest supercooling ability, and an aversion to crossing bare rock. Pseudisotoma sensibilis and Xenylla boerneri are corticophilous springtails of hemiedaphic life form. Ps. sensibilis prefers cushions not far above the ground and frequently migrates between rock and soil. X. boerneri, the dominant species in the climatically unstable cushions on top of boulders, is also able to cross dry rock surfaces; it can, however, survive harsh periods in these cushions due to its pronounced drought resistance and the cold hardiness of the majority of the population during winter. -Authors
... The species spanning axis 1 can be differentiated accord ing to their lifeforms. P. armata is an euedaphic species, a "true soildweller" (Bauer and Christian, 1993), with only poor drought resistance (Hopkin, 1997). On the other hand, S. pumilis lives in the litter layer of soils of different humid ity levels (Bretfeld, 1999;Ponge, 2000) and is a mobile epigeic species (Salamon et al., 2004). ...
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An aim of organic farming is to reduce negative impacts of agricultural management practices on physical, chemical, and biological soil properties. A growing number of organic farmers is trying out methods of reduced tillage to save costs, protect humus and to foster natural processes in the soil. Furthermore, techniques like increasing crop rotation diversity and reduced tillage are discussed under the topics of agroecology or ecological intensification also for implementation in non-organic farming systems. The question arises as to whether these practices are positively impacting on soil ecosystems and which indicators can be used to describe these impacts. Collembolans are a widely distributed group of the soil mesofauna. They are mainly characterised as secondary decomposers feeding on fungi and other microorganisms. We investigated the influence of different longterm organic crop rotations (mixed farming with animal husbandry versus stockless arable) and the short term effects of two years of different tillage systems (conventional tillage versus reduced tillage) on the abundance, species richness, species composition, and selected species traits (life forms) of collembolan communities. Although not significant, some trends are evident. Species composition of collembolan communities responded to expected alterations in soil moisture mediated by different crop sequences and interannual effects rather than to different management practices. The proportion of euedaphic collembolan individuals tended to increase in soil environments that offered more stable habitat conditions from increased availability of organic matter.
... Collembola inhabit every soil layer and the soil surface in very high abundances, making them a key group among the soil arthropods. Over their long evolutionary history, they were able to colonize different specialized and sometimes extreme habitats (e.g., water surfaces, sand coasts, deserts, the Arctic, and the Antarctic) [5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12], which makes them one of the most ecologically, diversified, and distributed arthropod groups [13]. ...
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Hemocyanins are respiratory dioxygen carrier proteins found in many arthropods including ancient terrestrial species such as spiders and scorpions as well as marine horseshoe crabs. As hemocyanins are highly conserved in this lineage, it is possible to observe an evolutionary descent through its subunits and their overall structure. Unfortunately, little is known about the structure and function of hexapod hemocyanins. Using recent springtail taxa (Collembola) as models for basal hexapods, and the help of electron microscopy, light scattering, SDS PAGE, and Western blot, we could demonstrate for the first time the presence of 2 × 6-meric hemocyanins in the hemolymph of hexapods. The quaternary structure is composed of at least two different subunits and looks nearly identical to the hemocyanin found in decapod crustaceans. In addition, homology modeling and western blotting suggest a close structural relationship between collembolan and crustacean hemocyanin. Such a respiratory protein was possibly helpful in the early terrestrialization process of ancient Collembola. In addition, physiological adaptations to hypoxic or temporarily anoxic conditions could be a possible explanation for the presence of this respiratory protein. Nevertheless, it has to be concluded that the primary benefit of hemocyanin for springtails remains unclear.
... Their high abundance makes them significant contributors to several processes of soil, such as material and energy cycles, and formation of soil [12] . Environmental changes such as variation in the soil moisture, precipitation, drought, global warming, soil pH and temperature are likely to cause changes in the density, diversity, survival, behavior, activity and reproduction of Collembola [13][14][15][16][17][18] . Temperature and moisture are two of the most important environmental factors affecting populations of soil-dwelling Collembola. ...
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The present study was conducted to know the impact of abiotic factors on the abundance and density of the collembolan population in the Rajshahi University Campus from March 2012 to February 2013. A total of 3749 individuals of Collembola were collected and they were identified into three families and five species and three genera, viz; Entomobyra albocincta, Dicranocentroides indicus, Seira indica, Lepidocyrtus lignorum, Lepidocyrtus sp (Entomobryidae), Salina sp. & Salina tricolor (Paronellidae), and Tomocerus sp (Tomoceridae). Five different habitats; Open grassland, Shady grassland, Crop field margin, Roadside vegetation and Pondside vegetation were selected for the collection of Collembola. The temperature was positively correlated with abundance and density of Collembolan population (r = 0.622, P˃0.05) and where relative humidity (r =-0.114, P<0.05) and rainfall (r = 0.06, P<0.05) was negatively correlated. The abundance of soil Collembola population were indicated strong positive correlation with Organic materials (r = 0.618, P<0.05), Nitrogen (r = 0.607, P<0.05), Phosphorus (r = 0.927, P˃0.05), Potassium (r = 0.824, P˃0.1), Sulfur (r = 0.663, P<0.05) and very week negative correlation with Zinc (r =-0.383, P<0.05) and P H (r =-0.301, P<0.05) respectively. The highest mean abundance of vegetation dwelling collembolan was recorded in the Roadside vegetation (44.15±14.53) and lowest was in Shady grassland (11.12±4.17); however, maximum soil living Collembola was found in the Crop field margin (44±14.84) and minimum was in the Open grassland (27±8.36).
... Collembola are also particularly sensitive to environmental changes, and therefore thought to be an excellent bioindicator (Hopkin, 1997;Jucevica and Melecis, 2006;Xu et al., 2009). Environmental changes such as variation in the soil moisture, precipitation, drought, global warming, soil pH and soil temperature are likely to cause changes in the density, diversity, survival, behaviour, activity and reproduction of Collembola (Loring, 1981;Bauer and Christian, 1993;Wolters, 1998;Pflug and Wolters, 1998;Choi et al., 2002, Ke et al., 2004. Several studies indicated the effects of abiotic factors on the abundance, distribution and activity of Collembola in sitespecific ecosystems. ...
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In the present studies, Collembola populations were followed for one year in multiple crops agroecosystem of Faisalabad, Pakistan. Four crops, viz., sugarcane, cotton, clover and wheat were selected. Sampling was done fortnightly by installing pitfall traps in each crop area. The results revealed that maximum mean abundance of Collembola was found in clover (36.74) followed by sugarcane (29.15), cotton (20.79) and wheat (16.52). Four species of Collembola (Isotoma decorata, Xenylla indus, Seira indra and Sminthurus mime) were abundant in cotton followed by three (Xenylla indus, Seira indra and Sminthurus mime) in sugarcane and two (Xenylla indus and Seira indra) each in clover and wheat. The proportionate percentage of the abundance of Xenylla indus was 65% followed by 20% of Seira indra, 13% of Isotoma decorata and 2% of Sminthurus mime throughout the sampling period taking together all the crops. The principal component analysis showed significant effect of soil moisture and soil pH on the abundance of Collembola while the effect of soil temperature, relative humidity and organic matter was non-significant. The abundance of Collembola was positively correlated with soil moisture and organic matter in all the crops, soil temperature in wheat, relative humidity in sugarcane and cotton, soil pH in cotton while negatively correlated with soil temperature in sugarcane, cotton and clover, relative humidity in clover and wheat, soil pH in sugarcane, clover and wheat.
... It tends to be distinct with life forms, particular species and their populations (Wallwork 1970;Zettel 1984;Woude 1987;Zettel & Zettel 1994 a, b;Bahrndorff et al. 2009, etc.). Ecophysiological studies of Collembola focused on temperature preference in a habitat and temperature tolerance carried out in the laboratory such as Bauer & Christian (1993), Worland (1996), Zettel (1999Zettel ( /2000, Hawes et al. (2006) and Novak et al. (2014) contribute to the understanding of ecological preferences and the distribution of species in their specific habitats (Verhoef 1995). ...
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The study compared communities of soil Collembola along the inversed microclimatic gradient of the collapse doline of the Silická ľadnica Ice Cave (Slovakia) in spring and autumn of 2005. Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA and the Mann-Whitney test revealed significant differences in abundance between sites and both seasons. Significantly higher abundance means and species richness were observed at most sites during the spring compared with the autumn. NMS ordination documented a clear delimitation of communities with remarkably different soil microclimates. The community pattern of the coldest section of the gradient, with low species richness and high mean abundance, was analogous to communities living in the harsh alpine and polar soils. The collapse doline with inversed microclimate hosted a high number of species (72) and a broad variety of montane forms (13), thus documenting that these karst landforms enhance local diversity of edaphic Collembola and serve as local refugia of specialized cold-tolerant species. The cold tolerance of the four abundant species at the doline cold sites, namely Ceratophysella sigillata, Tetrodontophora bielanensis, Protaphorura armata and Desoria tigrina, was tested in the laboratory using one-hour exposition survival tests. Within a temperature range from –2.4 to –7.8 • C, T. bielanensis was the most cold-sensitive species, with a lethal dose LD50 of –4.4
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Population densities of the Collembola Cryptopygus antarcticus and Friesea grisea were compared in two maritime Antarctic habitats with different moisture availability. C. antarcticus was absent from the drier rock platform habitat, where F. grisea was the only collembolan collected. In contrast, the sand/pebble habitat on East Beach had greater moisture availability, and C. antarcticus dominated the arthropod community, with juveniles (individuals <1 mm length) representing 58% of the population. The hygropreference characteristics of F. grisea were determined in relative humidity (RH) gradients (12–98% RH) at 10 and 20 °C. F. grisea demonstrated a stronger preference for 98% RH conditions than C. antarcticus, suggesting that the former species is less likely to vacate moist refuges when available. The movement of both species was also monitored at 10 and 15 °C under conditions of 33, 75 and 100% RH. C. antarcticus was more active than F. grisea at both temperatures, and its movement increased at a greater rate as a consequence of reduced RH. The limited desiccation tolerance of C. antarcticus, combined with the increased water loss that would result from its continued movement under declining RH conditions, suggests this species is not well suited to drought-prone environments. In contrast, the reduced movement and ‘risk averse’ behavioural strategy of F. grisea, i.e. taking advantage of moist refuges when available, facilitates water conservation between precipitation/habitat rehydration events. This study provides the first evidence that moisture availability and habitat structure are potential habitat segregation mechanisms between these two Antarctic Collembola.
Chapter
Collembola predominantly live in soil, and on the soil surface and its neighboring strata. Some species also dwell in extreme habitats in the arctic and antarctic regions and in the high alpine zones.1–8 Collembola constitute 14–22% of all arctic insect species,9,10 and in tundra and northern forest regions with snow and frost prevailing for the best part of the year they constitute an essential part of the winter-active fauna.11–15 Snow Collembola are reported to occur in masses also in the temperate climate zones of central Europe with species like Hypogastrura socialis, Isotomurus palustris und Isotoma hiemalis frequently among them.16,17 According to Zettel,18 the surface activity of I. hiemalis probably depends on barometric pressure changes.
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Results of the 14th „GEO day of biodiversity“ in the transboundary biosphere reserve Palatinate Forest - Northern Vosges As part of the GEO Biodiversity Day, on 16 June 2012 an assessment of the flora and fauna in the cross-border Palatinate Forest-North Vosges Biosphere Reserve was undertaken. The Rhineland-Palatinate Nature and Environment Foundation directed the event, together with GEO magazine and the two sponsoring associations of the cross-border UNESCO Palatinate Forest-North Vosges Biosphere Reserve and numerous other partners. Enjoying suitable weather for catching, the nearly 100 experts invited from Germany and France ranged, according to their individual specialties, through the selected survey areas around Fischbach/Dahn (D), Eppenbrunn (D), Hirschthal (D & F) and Wingen (F). In total, they succeeded in finding evidence of 2081 species from 147 orders and 470 families. The survey revealed many vulnerable or severely endangered species, some of which are extremely rare in Germany or are subject to protection under Annexes II and IV of the European Habitats Directive. The assessment provided the first recordings of some species in the area under investigation. A total of ten new species of cicada for the state of Rhineland-Palatinate; however, in view of the low level of research so far undertaken on this group here, this was not entirely unexpected. Particularly noteworthy was the first recording in Rhineland-Palatinate of the very rare European hoverfly Myolepta potens (RL D: 2). For the first time, clear evidence was found for the carabid beetle Amara infima in Rhineland-Palatinate. In addition, the existence of the pygmy locust (tetrix bipunctata) was clearly proven for the first time in the Palatinate Forest. In the French section of the biosphere reserve, the soprano pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pygmaeus) had not previously been documented. However, this was achieved several times on the GEO biodiversity day.
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Recent studies have shown marked differences between Collembola communities in a field and a nearby fallow which had both been managed in a similar manner before management conversion. To investigate the extent to which these differences could be attributed to surface dispersal, small pitfall traps, provided with fences, were used to deter mine directions of dispersal. The dominant Collembola trapped in pitfalls were Isotomurus palustris, Lepidocyrtus cyaneus and Sminthuridae. Isotoma viridis and the Genus Folsomia were subdominant or seldom caught in pitfall traps. The number of Collembola trapped in pitfalls decreased from field to fallow, suggesting a lower activity under more favourable conditions in the fallow. The dispersal direction of Collembola depended on barrier position (field, borderline, or fallow). The most striking differences between the soil communities, within the Genus Folsomia, could not be assigned to surface dispersal, whereas the higher or increasing proportions of Isotomurus palustris and Sminthuridae in the fallow compared to the wheat field could partly be explained by migration.
Article
Density of microarthropods, Collembola and Acarina were studied in 2000 in soil and litter of 7-years old shelterbelt and in nearby field sown by winter wheat in Turew (Wielkopolska Region, West Poland). Samples were taken in the shelterbelt centre and in the field at a distance of 0.5 m, 10 m and 50 m from the tree line. Collembola were analysed in soil and in litter samples placed in containers and located in different sites, Acarina only in soil samples. Density of Collembola in soil was found to be higher in the shelterbelt than in the adjacent field (P = 0.003). Similar relationship was not, however, noted for insects in litter, density in open field was higher than in the shelterbelt. Density of Acarina in soil decreased gradually with the distance from the shelterbelt (P = 0.007). Twenty three species of springtails were found; the highest species richness (12) was noted in shelterbelts, but also in the litter in the open field. The dominant species common for soil and litter were Isotoma notabilis in the shelterbelt while Isotomina thermophila and Isotoma viridis in the field. With the increasing distance from shelterbelt Proisotoma minuta increased its contribution to the soil community, Entomobrya multifasciata was the dominant only in litter. In the field soil, 50 m from woods, the highest share of young individuals was noted. The highest species richness of Oribatida was found in the field margin (18). The Tectocepheus velatus was the dominant species both in the shelterbelt and the field, accounted for 30-70% of the total number of individuals.
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