This research will examine aspects of Collembola dispersal by investigating community composition in different habitats and soil types within Limestone areas. Microsatellites within key genetic loci and morphological variation within epiedaphic, eudaphic, localised and ubiquitous Collembola species, will be tested to determined patterns of gene flow between populations. The resulting data will be analysed to find likely dispersal mechanisms at different spatial scales.
Soil ecosystems are an essential foundation supporting our terrestrial habitats.
Investigations into the dispersal of groups such as Collembola are of vital importance if we are to gain a greater understanding of how soil and litter communities can respond to extreme changes in climate and habitat condition. Resulting data from this study will help in determining trophodynamic implications of soils exploitation at local and global scales.
This research is linked to the recent publication of the ‘Illustrated key to the families of British Springtails (Collembola)‘ by Thom Dallimore and Peter Shaw.