Canadian Forest Service Publications

The role of soil fauna in food-web interactions. 1993. Marshall, V.G. Pages 19-35 in B.J. Cade-Menun, Editor. Perspectives in soil Ecology., Proceedings: 15th soil science workshop of the Pacific Regional Society of Soil Science. February 20-21, 1992, Vancouver, BC. University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC.

Year: 1993

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 3364

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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A brief review is given of the major food-web interactions of soil fauna and soil microflora with special reference to nutrient cycling and plant disease potential. The great diversity of animals exhibits many trophic categories of which phytophagy, saprophagy, microphytophagy, predation and parasitism (both by the fauna themselves and by the microflora) are important. Although the soil microflora is a major source of food for the fauna, many soil animals are unspecialized feeders. Apart from impacts on soil-borne diseases, faunal feeding activities result in the release of essential plant nutrients. Mechanisms of nutrient release involving translocation, grazing, predation, faecal feeding, and omnivory are discussed.