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A common framework for developing robust soil fauna classifications

Mickael Hedde 1, * Olivier Blight 2 Maria J.I. Briones 3 Jonathan Bonfanti 4 Alain A. Brauman 1 Margot Brondani 1 Irene Calderón Sanou 5 Julia Clause 6 Erminia Conti 7 Jérôme Cortet 4 Thibaud Decaëns 4 Amandine Erktan 1 Sylvain Gérard 1 Arnaud Goulpeau 4 Maeva Iannelli 1 Sophie Boulanger-Joimel 8 Pascal Jouquet 9 Nicolas Le Guillarme 5 Claire Marsden 1 Camille Martinez Almoyna 5 Christian Mulder 7 William Perrin 4 Julien Pétillon 10, 11 Benjamin Pey 12 Anton Potapov 13, 14 Sara Si-Moussi 5 Wilfried Thuiller 5 Jean Trap 1 Alan Vergnes 4 Andrey Zaitsev 14, 15 Yvan Capowiez 16 
Abstract : Classifying organisms has a wide use and a long history in ecology. However, the meaning of a ‘group of organisms’ and how to group organisms is still the subject of much theoretical and empirical work. Achieving this long quest requires simplifying the complexity of species niches for which relevant morphological, behavioural, biochemical or life-history traits are often used as relevant proxies. Soil fauna is highly diverse and many classifications have been proposed to synthesize both the response of soil organisms to their environment and their effect on soil functioning. Here, we provide a critical overview of the characteristics and limitations of the existing classifications in soil ecology, and propose clarifications and alternatives to current practices. We summarise the similarities and differences in how classifications have been created and used in soil ecology. We propose a harmonization of the current concepts by properly defining ‘guilds’, ‘functional groups’ and ‘trophic groups’ as subcategories of ‘ecological groups’, with different purposes and distinguishing criteria. Finally, based on these concepts, we suggest a common framework to define classifications based on functional traits that allows a better and unified understanding of changes in soil biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.
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Submitted on : Thursday, August 11, 2022 - 12:46:42 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 4, 2022 - 3:43:49 AM

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Mickael Hedde, Olivier Blight, Maria J.I. Briones, Jonathan Bonfanti, Alain A. Brauman, et al.. A common framework for developing robust soil fauna classifications. Geoderma, Elsevier, 2022, 426, pp.116073. ⟨10.1016/j.geoderma.2022.116073⟩. ⟨hal-03749556⟩

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