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Non-native species change the tune of tundra soils: novel access to soundscapes of the Arctic earthworm invasion
Department of Geological Sciences, Stanford University, CA, Stanford, United States.
Umeå universitet, Institutionen för ekologi, miljö och geovetenskap.
Department of Geological Sciences, Stanford University, CA, Stanford, United States.
Department of Soil, Water, and Climate, University of Minnesota, MN, United States.
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2022 (English)In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 838, article id 155976Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Over the last decade, an increasing number of studies have used soundscapes to address diverse ecological questions. Sound represents one of the few sources of information capable of providing in situ insights into processes occurring within opaque soil matrices. To date, the use of soundscapes for soil macrofauna monitoring has been experimentally tested only in controlled laboratory environments. Here we assess the validity of laboratory predictions and explore the use of soil soundscape proxies for monitoring soil macrofauna (i.e., earthworm) activities in an outdoor context. In a common garden experiment in northern Sweden, we constructed outdoor mesocosm plots (N = 36) containing two different Arctic vegetation types (meadow and heath) and introduced earthworms to half of these plots. Earthworms substantially altered the ambient soil soundscape under both vegetation types, as measured by both traditional soundscape indices and frequency band power levels, although their acoustic impacts were expressed differently in heath versus meadow soils. While these findings support the as-of-yet untapped promise of using belowground soundscape analyses to monitor soil ecosystem health, direct acoustic emissions from earthworm activities appear to be an unlikely proxy for tracking worm activities at daily timescales. Instead, earthworms indirectly altered the soil soundscape by ‘re-engineering’ the soil matrix: an effect that was dependent on vegetation type. Our findings suggest that long-term (i.e., seasonal) earthworm activities in natural soil settings can likely be monitored indirectly via their impacts on soundscape measures and acoustic indices. Analyzing soil soundscapes may enable larger-scale monitoring of high-latitude soils and is directly applicable to the specific case of earthworm invasions within Arctic soils, which has recently been identified as a potential threat to the resilience of high-latitude ecosystems. Soil soundscapes could also offer a novel means to monitor soils and soil-plant-faunal interactions in situ across diverse pedogenic, agronomic, and ecological systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2022. Vol. 838, article id 155976
Keywords [en]
Acoustic monitoring, Arctic, Earthworm invasion, Ecosystem disturbance, Ecosystem engineer, Soil fauna, Soil organic carbon, Soil structure, Soundscapes
National Category
Ecology Soil Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:polar:diva-8940DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.155976PubMedID: 35618134Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85131666703OAI: oai:DiVA.org:polar-8940DiVA, id: diva2:1716343
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The Kempe FoundationsAvailable from: 2022-12-05 Created: 2022-12-05 Last updated: 2022-12-05Bibliographically approved

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Wackett, Adrian A.Jonsson, HannaKlaminder, Jonatan
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