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Soil fauna can be an important regulator of community parameters and ecosystem processes, but there have been few quantitative syntheses of the role of soil fauna in terrestrial soil communities and ecosystems. Here, we conducted a meta-analysis to investigate the impacts of invertebrate soil micro- and mesofauna (grazers and predators) on plant productivity and microbial biomass. Overall our results indicate that an increase in the biomass of soil fauna increased aboveground plant productivity across ecosystems by 35% and decreased microbial biomass by 8%. In addition, we found no evidence for trophic cascades in terrestrial soil food webs, but the bacterivorous component of soil fauna influenced plant productivity and microbial biomass more than did the fungivorous component. Furthermore, changes in the biomass of soil fauna differentially affected plant productivity among plant functional groups: a higher biomass of soil fauna increased aboveground productivity by 70% in coniferous systems. However, in ecosystems dominated by legumes, a functional group with lower inorganic nitrogen requirements, there was no response of aboveground productivity to increases in the biomass of soil fauna. In sum, the results of this meta-analysis indicate that soil fauna help to regulate ecosystem production, especially in nutrient-limited ecosystems.