Nicole Schon

Doctor of Philosophy, (Ecology)
Study Completed: 2010
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Response of soil invertebrates to pastoral management and their links to soil services

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Activities of soil invertebrates play critical roles in many services that soils provide. These invertebrates are influenced by soil and land use. This project explored the response of soil invertebrates to different levels of management intensity in pastures across twelve soils in New Zealand, focusing on how soil invertebrates are influenced by habitable soil pore space and potential food resources. Habitable pore space appeared to be a more reliable indicator of invertebrate populations, as food may not always be limiting in pastures. The importance of soil invertebrates in regulating nitrogen supply to plants was demonstrated in a constructed mesocosm. An invertebrate threshold indicator is proposed, linking soil invertebrates to soil services. The indicator gives invertebrate abundance thresholds at which soil services may be ''limited'' or ''sustained''.

Associate Professor Maria Minor
Dr Alec MacKay
Dr Gregor Yeates