Species identity influences belowground arthropod assemblages via functional traits

GormanPlants link above- and belowground subsystems, and a recent study in AoB PLANTS suggests that their phylogenetic relationships leave a “fingerprint” on belowground communities. Gorman et al. found that after correcting for evolutionary history, tree species identity influenced belowground arthropod communities through plant functional traits. These data suggest that plant species structure may be an important predictor in shaping associated soil arthropod communities and further suggest the importance of better understanding the extended consequences of evolutionary history for ecological processes, as similarity in traits may not always reflect similar ecology.