Soil invertebrates in Australian rain gardens and their potential roles in storage and processing of nitrogen

TitleSoil invertebrates in Australian rain gardens and their potential roles in storage and processing of nitrogen
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsMehring A.S, Hatt B.E, Kraikittikun D., Orelo B.D, Rippy MA, Grant S.B, Gonzalez J.P, Jiang S.C, Ambrose R.F, Levin L.A
JournalEcological Engineering
Volume97
Pagination138-143
Date Published2016/12
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0925-8574
Accession NumberWOS:000388580200016
Keywordsarthropods; bacteria; biofilter; Bioretention system; denitrifying; earthworms; efficiency; emission; impact; litter; Low impact development LID; Lumbricidae; stable-isotope ratios; stormwater biofiltration systems; transformations; WSUD
Abstract

Research on rain gardens generally focuses on hydrology, geochemistry, and vegetation. The role of soil invertebrates has largely been overlooked, despite their well-known impacts on soil nutrient storage, removal, and processing. Surveys of three rain gardens in Melbourne, Australia, revealed a soil invertebrate community structure that differed significantly among sites but was stable across sampling dates (July 2013 and April 2014). Megadrilacea (earthworms), Enchytraeidae (potworms), and Collembola (springtails) were abundant in all sites, and together accounted for a median of 80% of total soil invertebrate abundance. Earthworms were positively correlated to soil organic matter content, but the abundances of other taxonomic groups were not strongly related to organic matter content, plant cover, or root biomass across sites. While less than 5% of total soil N was estimated to be stored in the body tissues of these three taxa, and estimated N gas emissions from earthworms (N2O and N-2) were low, ingestion and processing of soil was high (e.g., up to 417% of the upper 5 cm of soil ingested by earthworms annually in one site), suggesting that the contribution of these organisms to N cycling in rain gardens may be substantial. Thus, invertebrate communities represent an overlooked feature of rain garden design that can play an important role in the structure and function of these systems. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

DOI10.1016/j.ecoleng.2016.09.005
Short TitleEcol. Eng.
Student Publication: 
No