Soil fauna responses to natural disturbances, invasive species, and global climate change: Current state of the science and a call to action
Environmental disturbances seem to be increasing in frequency and impact, yet we have little understanding of the belowground impacts of these events. Soil fauna, while widely acknowledged to be important drivers of biogeochemical function, soil structure and sustainability, and trophic interactions, are understudied compared to other belowground organisms such as archaea, bacteria, and fungi. In this review we summarize the current state of knowledge of soil fauna as it relates to and is influenced by various disturbances. We focus our review on three main natural and anthropogenic disturbance types: 1) natural disturbances, including damage from wind and flooding; 2) invasive species, including above and belowground flora and fauna; and 3) climate change impacts on the atmosphere and temperature. We do not address the impacts of wildfires, forestry, agricultural practices, mining, or human-caused pollution, as these topics have all been covered in other works. We highlight knowledge gaps and suggest future avenues of research, with hope that the importance of soil fauna and their influences on ecosystems will be given greater emphasis in future research.
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