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Long-Term Fertiliser Regimes have both Direct and Indirect Effects on Arthropod Community Composition and Feeding Guilds

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Roy Sanderson



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Wiley-Blackwell Verlag GmbH, 2018.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Vegetation species composition and structure are known to affect taxonomic composition and life history characteristics of arthropod communities. Soil conditions alter vegetation composition and structure, and thus soils have indirect effects on arthropods. Whilst grassland management affects soil properties, and hence vegetation, the direct effects of soil on arthropod communities within the sward is less clear. We used a long-term hay meadow experiment to assess both direct and indirect effects of various fertiliser regimes on arthropod community composition and feeding guilds. Arthropods were sampled via pitfall traps and sweep nets, then analysed using principal components and redundancy analyses (RDA) to determine relationships between soil properties, vegetation community, forage quality and arthropod community. Vegetation community composition, measured by the first vegetation principal component, was used as a constraining variable in partial RDA, to estimate direct effects of soil on the arthropods. Variance partitioning quantified the relative roles of vegetation and soil on the arthropod community. Our results indicate that available soil nitrogen and carbon-nitrogen ratios are important determinants of arthropod community composition. Once the effects of the vegetation were removed it was found the soil acidity and the available potassium altered arthropod community composition. Further research is required to determine the mechanisms by which these soil properties affect arthropod communities

Publication metadata

Author(s): Evans C, Sanderson R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Applied Entomology

Year: 2018

Volume: 142

Issue: 1-2

Pages: 230-240

Print publication date: 01/02/2018

Online publication date: 01/06/2017

Acceptance date: 12/04/2017

Date deposited: 25/04/2017

ISSN (print): 0931-2048

ISSN (electronic): 1439-0418

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Verlag GmbH


DOI: 10.1111/jen.12410


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