Soil Fauna in the Lowland Rainforest and Agricultural Systems of Sumatra: Changes in Community Composition and Trophic Structure with Focus on Collembola

Progressive deforestation coupled with land-use change in tropical regions results in habitat loss and extinctions of species which are not flexible enough to adapt. In many cases, this is followed by the loss of ecosystem functions and services. To date, little is known on how land-use change in the tropics alters diversity of litter and soil invertebrates. The research aims at revealing changes in abundance, community structure and trophic interactions of soil fauna connected with intensive agricultural land-use such as rubber and oil palm plantations in Sumatra, Indonesia. All groups of soil invertebrates will be studied on broad taxonomic level with focus on Collembola that will be studied at high taxonomic resolution. To study trophic interactions classical methods of soil animal collecting and microscopic identification will be combined with novel instrumental techniques (DNA barcoding, stable isotope analysis).

Conversion of rainforest to oil palm and rubber plantations alters energy channels in soil food webs. (Susanti et al. 2019)