Animal communities are sensitive to environmental disturbance, and several multivariate methods have recently been developed to detect changes in community structure. The complex taxonomy of soil invertebrates constrains the use of the community level in monitoring environmental changes, since species identification requires expertise and time. However, recent literature data on marine communities indicate that little multivariate information is lost in the taxonomic aggregation of species data to high rank taxa. In the present paper, this hypothesis was tested on two oribatid mite (oribatida, Acari) assemblages under two different kinds of disturbance: metal pollution and fires. Results indicate that data sets built at the genus and family systematic rank can detect the effects of disturbance with little loss of information. This is an encouraging result in view of the use of the community level as a preliminary tool for describing patterns of human-disturbed soil ecosystems. (c) 2006 Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|
- taxonomic aggregation
- TROPHIC NICHE DIFFERENTIATION
- multivariate analysis
- oribatid mites