Soil biological activity is influenced by tree species composition

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Earthworms can cause different effects on the soil by their activity: increased nutrient availability, better drainage or a more stable soil structure. Factors that influence the spatial variability of earthworm populations in the forest soil remain largely unclear. Variability can be explained by biotic interactions within populations, abiotic soil heterogeneity or the aboveground tree species composition.
Here it is hypothesized that the functional and structural diversity of tree communities can affect the structure and composition of belowground communities. As the decomposer communities can be influenced by tree species mixture, this will in turn influence nutrient turnover rates and lead to improved or reduced productivity rates.

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