Living Litter: Dynamic Trait Spectra Predict Fauna Composition

Saori Fujii*, Matty P. Berg, Johannes H.C. Cornelissen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

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Understanding what drives soil fauna species composition through space and time is crucial because we should preserve soil fauna biodiversity and its key role in ecosystem functioning in this era of fast environmental change. As plant leaf litter provides both food and habitat for soil fauna, a focus on litter traits that relate to these two functions will help in understanding soil invertebrate community structure and dynamics comprehensively. To advance this agenda, we propose a conceptual framework to explicitly link the invertebrate community composition to the temporal dynamics of the litter trait space defined by two axes: a food-quality axis related to plant resource economics and chemistry and a habitat-quality axis related to litter particle size and shape.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)886-896
Number of pages11
JournalTrends In Ecology and Evolution
Issue number10
Early online date7 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • habitat
  • litter
  • plant economics spectrum
  • plant trait
  • size and shape spectrum
  • soil fauna


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