Application of lipid analysis to understand trophic interactions in soil

Liliane Ruess, Kirsten Schütz, Dominique Haubert, Max Haggblom, Ellen Kandeler, Stefan Scheu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

67 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Trophic interactions in cryptic belowground systems are difficult to assess, either experimentally or by direct observation. We used lipid analysis to determine feeding strategies in Collembola raised on various bacterial, fungal, plant, or nematode diets. Dietary fatty acids (FAs) were conserved and transferred through the trophic cascade into the neutral lipids of consumers. The presence of vaccenic type FAs (ω7 family) was indicative of a bacterial diet in general. More specifically, methyl-branched (iso, anteiso) and cyclic forms of FAs were markers for consumption of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, respectively. Fungal-feeding Collembola comprised a higher proportion of linoleic acid, whereas the profile of plant feeders showed an increased amount of oleic acid. The FA 20:1 ω9 was only present in Collembola with nematodes as prey. Based on the assigned marker FAs, field populations of Collembola in three deciduous forest stands were ascribed to feeding guilds (i.e., fungivores, bacterivores, herbivores, predators). In conclusion, FA biomarkers provide a high-resolution method to define feeding strategies of decomposer invertebrates and to determine their diets in situ. Lipid analysis has considerable potential as a new tool in soil food web studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2075-2082
Number of pages8
JournalEcology
Volume86
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

Fingerprint

trophic interaction
Collembola
fatty acid
lipid
fatty acids
lipids
feeding methods
soil
diet
nematode
Nematoda
soil food webs
trophic cascade
deciduous forests
Gram-negative bacteria
dietary fat
forest stands
acid
oleic acid
linoleic acid

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Keywords

  • Biomarker
  • Collembola
  • Fauna
  • Feeding guild
  • Food web
  • Lipids
  • Soil
  • Trophic transfer

Cite this

Ruess, L., Schütz, K., Haubert, D., Haggblom, M., Kandeler, E., & Scheu, S. (2005). Application of lipid analysis to understand trophic interactions in soil. Ecology, 86(8), 2075-2082. https://doi.org/10.1890/04-1399
Ruess, Liliane ; Schütz, Kirsten ; Haubert, Dominique ; Haggblom, Max ; Kandeler, Ellen ; Scheu, Stefan. / Application of lipid analysis to understand trophic interactions in soil. In: Ecology. 2005 ; Vol. 86, No. 8. pp. 2075-2082.
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Ruess, L, Schütz, K, Haubert, D, Haggblom, M, Kandeler, E & Scheu, S 2005, 'Application of lipid analysis to understand trophic interactions in soil', Ecology, vol. 86, no. 8, pp. 2075-2082. https://doi.org/10.1890/04-1399

Application of lipid analysis to understand trophic interactions in soil. / Ruess, Liliane; Schütz, Kirsten; Haubert, Dominique; Haggblom, Max; Kandeler, Ellen; Scheu, Stefan.

In: Ecology, Vol. 86, No. 8, 01.01.2005, p. 2075-2082.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Application of lipid analysis to understand trophic interactions in soil

AU - Ruess, Liliane

AU - Schütz, Kirsten

AU - Haubert, Dominique

AU - Haggblom, Max

AU - Kandeler, Ellen

AU - Scheu, Stefan

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Ruess L, Schütz K, Haubert D, Haggblom M, Kandeler E, Scheu S. Application of lipid analysis to understand trophic interactions in soil. Ecology. 2005 Jan 1;86(8):2075-2082. https://doi.org/10.1890/04-1399