Functionality of soil food webs after forest fires remains generally unexplored.
We address this question by studying both burnt and unburnt spruce forests in Central European Russia (Tver Region).
The overall consumption rate of detritus by the soil food web strongly decreased in the burnt forests and was maintained predominantly by the decomposition activity of bacteria instead of fungi.
This resulted in the reduction of the total soil food web functionality related with C-mobilization in the forests four years after a fire event.
This comparison will help identify key differences and similarities in soil and sediment food web properties and will offer perspectives on their roles in the global carbon cycle. The organisms in both soils and sediments interact in dynamic food webs, and the regulation of organisms by their consumers within the food web controls the fate of organic matter at local and global scales (de Ruiter et al. However, indirect interactions, such as (the biological reworking of soils and sediments by organisms including microbes, rooting plants, and burrowing animals; Meysman et al. There are also important differences in the organic matter that fuels these food webs. In both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, soil- and sediment-dwelling biota interact directly or indirectly with primary producers, which are in the sunlit portion of the environment, and the scale of separation varies depending on the biome.
The soil or sediment food web of any ecosystem is the place where organic and inorganic particles are eventually trapped, mineralized, or stored, and this has important consequences for the global carbon balance (Falkowski et al. 2006) and diseases caused by pathogens, or direct interactions, such as trophic effects caused by grazers, result in flows of organic matter through subsurface food webs that are remarkably similar in soils and sediments (de Ruiter et al. This is particularly the case with respect to the temporal and spatial scale of interactions between the aboveground or pelagic primary producers and the rest of the food web, as well as in the ecosystem-scale feedback interactions with carbon cycling and climate (Ruhl et al. In terrestrial ecosystems, such interactions are called when all material will be recycled locally, such as in micrometer or millimeter interactions in the rhizosphere of soil.
For the other taxa changes in biomass were insignificant.
At the same time C-flow through the soil food web after fire was strongly reduced mainly due to the reduction of biomass of active fungi and secondary decomposers.
However, soil and sediment food webs share many characteristics.
For example, both types depend on external organic matter resources produced in adjacent (aboveground or pelagic) ecosystem compartments, and they feed back to those compartments in a variety of direct and indirect ways (Moore et al. Here, we compare the structure and function of soil and sediment food webs and their coupling with primary producers. Terrestrial, freshwater, and marine environments contrast in abiotic conditions such as oxygen availability and temperature fluctuation.