Kathleen Lemanski, Prof. Dr. Stefan Scheu

The impact of grassland management on the invertebrate soilfauna and their trophic interactions

The animal ecology project within the GrassMan experiment focuses on the diversity and functionality of the belowground fauna along a gradient in management intensity. The composition of animals, especially the macro- and mesofauna is analysed, but also microbial organisms are considered.
Another point of interest is the structure of food webs in the soil. In order to disentangle this complex system the natural abundance of stable isotopes (15N) in invertebrates will be analysed. In addition, a labelling experiment with 13C is planned, aiming to differentiate between roots and litter as sources of carbon.