34.2 Thursday, Jan. 5 The global distribution and diversity of soil invertebrates GAREY, JR*; WU, T; AYRES, E; BARDGETT, RD; WALL, DH; University of South Florida; University of South Florida; Colorado State University; Lancaster University; Colorado State University firstname.lastname@example.org
The distribution of soil invertebrates and the relationship of below-ground biodiversity to above-ground biodiversity are not well studied at the global scale. We analyzed approximately 18,000 environmental 18S rRNA gene sequences representing 20 phyla of soil invertebrates from samples at 11 locations that spanned a wide range of biomes and latitudes. No globally cosmopolitan taxa were found and only 14 of 2,259 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) were common to 4 or more locations. A comparison of diversity and community structure data to environmental factors reveals a possible inverse relationship between above and below ground invertebrate diversity. Our analyses suggests that the low below-ground biodiversity at locations of high above-ground biodiversity could be explained by differences in soil inorganic N and pH. Our locations could be characterized as being dominated by microarthropods or dominated by nematodes and we found significant differences in soil pH, root biomass, mean annual temperature, soil inorganic N and C:N, litter, and moisture in microarthropod dominated locations compared to nematode dominated locations. Our study suggests that small soil animals have distinct biogeographical distributions and provides new evidence of the link between above-ground and below-ground biodiversity at a global scale.