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Rising atmospheric CO(2) levels are predicted to have major consequences on carbon cycling and the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. Increased photosynthetic activity is expected, especially for C-3 plants, thereby influencing vegetation dynamics; however, little is known about the path of fixed carbon into soil-borne communities and resulting(More)
Soils are extremely rich in biodiversity, and soil organisms play pivotal roles in supporting terrestrial life, but the role that individual plants and plant communities play in influencing the diversity and functioning of soil food webs remains highly debated. Plants, as primary producers and providers of resources to the soil food web, are of vital(More)
Abiotic soil properties, plant community composition, and herbivory all have been reported as important factors influencing the composition of soil communities. However, most studies thus far have considered these factors in isolation, whereas they strongly interact in the field. Here, we study how grazing by vertebrate herbivores influences the soil(More)
Belowground herbivores can exert important controls on the composition of natural plant communities. Until now, relatively few studies have investigated which factors may control the abundance of belowground herbivores. In Dutch coastal foredunes, the root-feeding nematode Tylenchorhynchus ventralis is capable of reducing the performance of the dominant(More)
Invasive plants generally have fewer aboveground pathogens and viruses in their introduced range than in their natural range, and they also have fewer pathogens than do similar plant species native to the introduced range. However, although plant abundance is strongly controlled by root herbivores and soil pathogens, there is very little knowledge on how(More)
The thale cress, Arabidopsis thaliana, is considered to be an important model species in studying a suite of evolutionary processes. However, the species has been criticized on the basis of its comparatively small size at maturity (and consequent limitations in the amount of available biomass for herbivores) and on the duration and timing of its life cycle(More)
Soil organisms have an important role in aboveground community dynamics and ecosystem functioning in terrestrial ecosystems. However, most studies have considered soil biota as a black box or focussed on specific groups, whereas little is known about entire soil networks. Here we show that during the course of nature restoration on abandoned arable land a(More)
Root-feeding nematodes are major soil-borne pests in agriculture. In natural ecosystems, their abundance can be strongly controlled by natural enemies. In coastal foredune soil, the abundance of the ectoparasitic nematode Tylenchorhynchus ventralis is controlled by local interactions with soil microorganisms. If not controlled, T. ventralis reduces growth(More)
Coastal sand dunes have a well-established abiotic gradient from beach to land and a corresponding spatial gradient of plant species representing succession in time. Here, we relate the distribution of plant-feeding nematodes with dominant plant species in the field to host specialization and impacts on plant species under controlled greenhouse conditions.(More)
There is considerable evidence that both plant diversity and plant identity can influence the level of predation and predator abundance aboveground. However, how the level of predation in the soil and the abundance of predatory soil fauna are related to plant diversity and identity remains largely unknown. In a biodiversity field experiment, we examined the(More)