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Biodiversity reserve as an ecosystem service provided by urban soils

Abstract : The irregular past and present human activities that alter soils in Urban Areas may induce unusual physical and chemical soil properties because of presence of natural and anthropogenic materials (e.g., bricks, asphalt, sand, pavements, and demolition wastes) (Morel et al., 2015). Urban Soils may indeed have an extremely heterogeneous surface relief (microtopography) that induces a mosaic of microhabitats with different features evolving with time: patches of bare soils, litter or plant cover, big mounts of different contaminated or uncontaminated materials that could be poor or rich of nutrients, acidic or alkaline. In this way, Urban Sites might provide a high level of biodiversity service because they offer a wide variety of habitats. From an ecological perspective, Urban Soils are of high importance due to the large extent of areas being affected and they can serve as suitable model for integrated ecological studies of communities’ assemblage theory across time or soil animals’ adaptation to special abiotic features. Human-disturbed sites might be increasingly appreciated as potential refuges for species that are becoming rare in the surrounding exploited landscapes. However because of the complexity of soil biodiversity itself and the low number of below-ground organisms’ investigations, (i) the study of Urban Sites as soil biodiversity refuges and (ii) the knowledge of the influence of predominant ecological factors on the colonization success of soil organisms, are still lacking. With an increasing awareness that soil biota regulate major ecosystem processes such as nutrient cycling or soil structure, soil invertebrates have a role in the process of origin and first development of soils. The inclusion of soil biota as an actor of ecosystem services provision has to be considered in ecological investigations of Urban Sites. In this context, the aim of our communication is to present results of a taxonomic and functional approach of invertebrates biodiversity sampled in different open and closed French Urban Sites, studied at a local scale. We characterized the soil biodiversity in spring 2016 in 9 forest sites dominated by birch (Betula pendula) in North eastern of France with pitfall traps method (traps for 7 days) to sample the active invertebrates at soil surface (12 replicates by site, one sampling date). The studied Urban Sites were developed on 3 different spoil heap sites, two derelict queries (gravel and sand), three sludge ponds; one unpolluted forest was also studied at the same time for direct comparison. A Multiple Response Permutation Procedure (MRPP; 1000 randomizations) applied to the nine sites showed that community dissimilarity was highly significant (p = 0.001). Moreover, a correspondence analysis ordination showed that dominant soil invertebrate taxa are depending on the type of Urban soil. For instance, the activity of Symphypleona springtails is higher in the control site than the Urban ones dominated by Entomobryomorpha or Poduromorpha collembola. Ants are dominant in one spoil heap site that is especially poor in litter at the soil surface. The two queries and a sludge pond site have a dominance of oribatids, woodlice, detritivores coleoptera larvae and adults, some earwigs and slugs that are all detritivores. Furthermore, the difference of community structure is linked to habitat characteristic of each site, the litter quality and physico-chemical soil parameters. Another study was carried out in the same region in spring 2015 but in 5 open areas with hand sorting in soil blocs and soil cores sampling for MacFadyen apparatus extraction (5 replicates by site, one sampling date): one meadow developed on a soil experimentally constructed 8 years before our study, an inert waste storage facility, two past coke factory sites and one open sludge pond. A difference of soil invertebrates’ community structure was also found. The macro invertebrates are dominant in the constructed soil while collembola density correlated with soil calcium concentration was the highest in the sludge pond site. Macro invertebrates density was the lowest in the two past coke factory soils comparing with the others studied Urban Sites. These results showed that derelict Urban Sites are biodiversity reserves. In a context of an increasing awareness of soil biodiversity decline as ecosystems and World threat (Orgiazzi et al., 2016), the human pressure on biodiversity in the case of Urban Sites reclamation or in city plan has to be seriously investigated. Today, a major question to answer is which services, Urban Sites have to provide and how man can help the biodiversity provide services through its conservation.
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https://hal.univ-lorraine.fr/hal-03030729
Contributor : Apolline Auclerc <>
Submitted on : Monday, November 30, 2020 - 11:23:19 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, December 1, 2020 - 3:38:42 AM

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Apolline Auclerc, Quentin Vincent. Biodiversity reserve as an ecosystem service provided by urban soils. SUITMA 9, May 2017, Moscou, Russia. ⟨hal-03030729⟩

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