Variability in soil and litter arthropod populations in the Soil Freezing Study plots at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, 2009-2010
TITLE
Variability in soil and litter arthropod populations in the Soil Freezing Study plots at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, 2009-2010
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR(s)
Pamela Templer
Boston University
Department of Biology
5 Cummington Mall
Boston, MA 02215
US

Phone: 617-353-6978
Andrew Schiller
Boston University
Department of Biology
5 Cummington Mall
Boston, MA 02215
US
Nathan Fuller
Boston University
Department of Biology
5 Cummington Mall
Boston, MA 02215
US
Anne Socci
Boston University
Department of Biology
5 Cummington Mall
Boston, MA 02215
US
John Campbell
USDA Forest Service
271 Mast Rd.
Durham, NH 03824
USA
John Drake
Boston University
Department of Biology
5 Cummington Mall
Boston, MA 02215
US
Thomas Kunz
Boston University
Department of Biology
5 Cummington Mall
Boston, MA 02215
US
ABSTRACT:
Climate models for the northeastern United States (U.S.) over the next century project an increase in air temperature between 2.8 and 4.3 C and a decrease in the average number of days per year when a snowpack will cover the forest floor. Warmer temperatures may benefit some litter arthropods by allowing them to expand their ranges and to increase their rates of reproduction. However, a reduction in snowpack depth and duration could offset these changes and lead to increased arthropod mortality because the snowpack plays an important role in insulating arthropods from freezing temperatures. We evaluated these potential changes by measuring arthropod abundance in the Soil Freezing Study plots at the Hubabard Brook Experimental Forest.
KEYWORD SET: Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study LTER
abundance, arthropods, biology, ecosystems, forests, HBEF Soil Freezing Study, HBR, Hubbard Brook LTER, litter, soil, snow, winter.
KEYWORD SET: LTER Core Research Areas
disturbance, populations.
BEGIN DATE
2009
END DATE
2010
LOCATION
Soil Freezing Study Site 1, Waypoint 144
West bounding coordinate: -71.76793
East bounding coordinate: -71.76793
North bounding coordinate: 43.93409
South bounding coordinate: 43.93409
Soil Freezing Study Site 2, Waypoint 145
West bounding coordinate: -71.7683
East bounding coordinate: -71.7683
North bounding coordinate: 43.93404
South bounding coordinate: 43.93404
Soil Freezing Study Site 3, Waypoint 148 3
West bounding coordinate: -71.76772
East bounding coordinate: -71.76772
North bounding coordinate: 43.93521
South bounding coordinate: 43.93521
Soil Freezing Study Site 4, Waypoint 147
West bounding coordinate: -71.76773
East bounding coordinate: -71.76773
North bounding coordinate: 43.93486
South bounding coordinate: 43.93486
Soil Freezing Study Site 5, Waypoint 143
West bounding coordinate: -71.76476
East bounding coordinate: -71.76476
North bounding coordinate: 43.9279
South bounding coordinate: 43.9279
Soil Freezing Study Site 6, Waypoint 142
West bounding coordinate: -71.76492
East bounding coordinate: -71.76492
North bounding coordinate: 43.92771
South bounding coordinate: 43.92771
Soil Freezing Study Site 7, Waypoint 141
West bounding coordinate: -71.76292
East bounding coordinate: -71.76292
North bounding coordinate: 43.93088
South bounding coordinate: 43.93088
Soil Freezing Study Site 8, Waypoint 140
West bounding coordinate: -71.76324
East bounding coordinate: -71.76324
North bounding coordinate: 43.93081
South bounding coordinate: 43.93081
RESEARCH SUMMARY
We conducted a snow-removal experiment at Hubbard Brook with four reference and four snow-removal plots (each plot 13 x 13 m2). Snow was removed via shoveling from the treatment plots within 48 hours of snowfall for the first five weeks of winter beginning 2008/2009 to mimic a later onset and accumulation of the winter snowpack. During the snow removal period, a 3 cm base of snow was maintained on the treatment plots to avoid disturbing the soil and litter during snow removal and to maintain the albedo of a snow-covered forest floor. Researchers wore snowshoes while shoveling in winter to reduce the degree of compaction caused by walking in the plots.
SITE DESCRIPTION
Each plot contained at least three mature sugar maple trees and included American beech saplings in the understory.
FIELD COLLECTION PROCEDURES
Soil arthropods: We randomly collected Oi and Oe horizons together (hereafter referred to as “litter”; n=3 per plot) from each plot during six dates each in the 2009 (20 x 20 cm2 for each sub-sample) and 2010 (10 x 10 cm2 each sub-sample) growing seasons (May through August), with more intensive sampling conducted at the beginning of the growing season when we expected to observe larger effects of soil frost from the previous winter. Our sampling area was smaller in 2010 than 2009 to minimize disturbance to the plots, which are part of an ongoing, long-term experiment. We accounted for this change in sample size by presenting all abundance data per unit area (m-2). Litter samples were transported in individual paper bags from the field to the laboratory for processing. Each paper bag was sealed with staples to contain the arthropods, while allowing for gas exchange. Litter samples were stored at 4 C until arthropod extraction, which was initiated within 24 hours of field sampling.
LABORATORY PROCEDURES
Each sub-sample of litter was placed in an individual Tullgren funnel from which arthropods were extracted. Funnels were 20 cm diameter at the top and 2.5 cm diameter at the bottom. Metal hardware cloth (0.5 cm mesh size) was placed inside each funnel at the bottom to prevent litter from falling through the funnel, while permitting arthropod passage. To reduce the possibility of arthropod escape, cheesecloth was placed over the top of each funnel and secured with a rubber band. A 60 watt light bulb was positioned directly above each funnel and operated for a minimum of 48 hours. Heat and litter desiccation induced by the light bulbs triggered arthropod movement from the litter into a collection jar containing 40-60 ml of 70% ethanol at the bottom of each funnel. Specimens were preserved in a minimum of 20 ml of 70% ethanol until sorted. Dry litter mass was obtained after arthropod extraction and desiccation in a convection oven at 55-60 C for at least 48 hours. Percent moisture of litter was determined from the following equation: (1) Percent Moisture = 100 * (field moist litter mass - dry litter mass) * dry litter mass-1. Arthropods were identified and counted using a dissecting microscope. Arthropods were sorted into the following categories: Acari (mites), Pseudoscorpionida (pseudoscorpions), Araneae (spiders), Diplopoda (millipedes), Collembola (springtails), Chilopoda (centipedes), Hemiptera (true bugs), Hymenoptera (ants, bees, and wasps), both adult and larval Coleoptera (beetles), and both adult and larval Diptera (flies). We did not classify arthropods into functional groups. We calculated taxon richness by counting the number of arthropod orders present in each plot during each sampling date; these included Araneae, Coleoptera (adults), Diptera (adults), Hemiptera, Hymenoptera, and Pseudoscorpionida. We did not include the other taxa (i.e., Acari, Pseudoscorpionida, Diplopoda, Collembola, Chilopoda) in measures of richness or diversity because they were not at the same taxonomic level.
REFERENCES
  • Comerford, D.P., Schaberg, P.G., Templer, P.H., Socci, A.M., Campbell, J.L., and Wallin, K.F. 2013. Influence of experimental snow removal on root and canopy physiology of sugar maple trees in a northern hardwood forest. Oecologia 171:261-269.
  • Templer, P.H. 2012. Changes in winter climate: soil frost, root injury, and fungal communities (Invited). Plant and Soil (35):15-17.
  • Templer, P.H., Schiller, A.F., Fuller, N.W., Socci, A.M., Campbell, J.L., Drake, J.E., and Kunz, T.H. 2012. Impact of a reduced winter snowpack on litter arthropod abundance and diversity in a northern hardwood forest ecosystem. Biology and Fertility of Soils (48):413-424.
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Citation example: Holmes, R.T. 2012. Bird Abundances at Hubbard Brook (1969-2010) and on three replicate plots (1986-2000) in the White Mountain National Forest. Durham, NH. Hubbard Brook Data Archive [Database]. http://hubbardbrook.org/data/dataset.php?id=81 (23 July 2012)

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Acknowledgment example: Data on [topic] were provided by [name of PI] on [date]. These data were gathered as part of the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study (HBES). The HBES is a collaborative effort at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, which is operated and maintained by the USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Newtown Square, PA. Significant funding for collection of these data was provided by [agency]-[grant number], [agency]-[grant number], etc.

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CONTACT PERSON

Information Manager, Hubbard Brook LTER
234 Mirror Lake Road
North Woodstock, NH 03262
USA

Phone: (603) 726-8902
Email: hbr-im@lternet.edu

Data file: soilfreeze_arth.txt
Description: Arthropod abundance in the Soil Freezing Study plots collected from 2009 - 2010 at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest.
Notes on Data: Original data is located in the Templer Lab, Boston University and was updated in May 2013.
ColumnVariableDescriptionUnitsCoded?Missing value label
1PlotPlot numbernoneynone
2TreatmentSnow removed or unaltered (control)noneynone
3RepLabel distinguishing three replicates collected on a given sampling datenoneynone
4HorizonSoil horizonnoneynone
5AreaArea of soil sampled in cm2centimeterSquarednnone
6DateDate sample collectedYYYY-MM-DDnnone
7MitesNumber of mites per m2countPerMeterSquarednnone
8SpidersNumber of spiders per m2countPerMeterSquarednnone
9Psuedo_ScorpNumber of pseudo-scorpions per m2countPerMeterSquarednnone
10DiplopodaNumber of Diplopoda per m2countPerMeterSquarednnone
11EntognathaNumber of Entognatha per m2countPerMeterSquarednnone
12ChilopodsNumber of Chilopods per m2countPerMeterSquarednnone
13HemipteraNumber of Hemiptera per m2countPerMeterSquarednnone
14Coleoptera_ANumber of adult Coleoptera per m2countPerMeterSquarednnone
15Coleoptera_LNumber of Coleoptera larvae per m2countPerMeterSquarednnone
16HymenopteraNumber of Hymenoptera per m2countPerMeterSquarednnone
17Diptura_ANumber of adult Diptura per m2countPerMeterSquarednnone
18Diptura_LNumber of Diptura larvae per m2countPerMeterSquarednnone

CODES