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Plant roots fuel tropical soil animal communities
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  • Zheng Zhou,
  • Jing-Zhong Lu,
  • Jooris Preiser,
  • Rahayu Widyastuti,
  • Stefan Scheu,
  • Anton Potapov
Zheng Zhou
University of Göttingen

Corresponding Author:zzhou@gwdg.de

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Jing-Zhong Lu
University of Göttingen
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Jooris Preiser
University of Göttingen
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Rahayu Widyastuti
Institut Pertanian Bogor
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Stefan Scheu
University of Göttingen
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Anton Potapov
Georg-August-Universitat Gottingen Johann Friedrich Blumenbach Institut fur Zoologie und Anthropologie
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Belowground life is traditionally considered to rely on leaf litter as the main basal resource, whereas the importance of roots remains little understood, especially in the tropics. Here, we analysed the response of 30 soil animal groups to root trenching and litter removal in rainforest and plantations in Sumatra and found that roots are similarly important to soil fauna as litter. Trenching effects were stronger in soil than in litter with animal abundance being overall decreased by 42% in rainforest and by 30% in plantations. Litter removal little affected animals in soil, but decreased the total abundance by 60% both in rainforest and rubber plantations but not in oil palm plantations. Litter and root effects were explained either by the body size or vertical distribution of specific animal groups. Our findings highlight the importance of root-derived resources for soil animals and quantify principle carbon pathways in tropical soil food webs.
13 Jul 2022Submitted to Ecology Letters
18 Jul 2022Submission Checks Completed
18 Jul 2022Assigned to Editor
21 Jul 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
22 Aug 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
28 Aug 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Major
21 Sep 20221st Revision Received
22 Sep 2022Assigned to Editor
22 Sep 2022Submission Checks Completed
27 Sep 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
30 Oct 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
31 Oct 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
11 Nov 20222nd Revision Received
11 Nov 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
14 Nov 2022Submission Checks Completed
14 Nov 2022Assigned to Editor
15 Nov 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
16 Dec 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
19 Dec 20223rd Revision Received
19 Dec 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
19 Dec 2022Assigned to Editor
19 Dec 2022Submission Checks Completed
23 Dec 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
22 Jan 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Major
06 Feb 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
06 Feb 20234th Revision Received
07 Feb 2023Assigned to Editor
07 Feb 2023Submission Checks Completed
07 Feb 2023Editorial Decision: Accept