EARTH SCIENCE > Biosphere > Ecological Dynamics > Primary Production
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The soil food webs in this collection represent a total of 32 belowground communities studied by Neutel et al. (2007), from two natural successions in sandy dune soils: one on the Waddensea Island of Schiermonnikoog in the north of the Netherlands and the other at Hulshorsterzand, on the Veluwe, in the central Netherlands. The study sites, which constitute the two gradients, represent four consecutive stages in chronosequences of early primary vegetation succession, increasing in aboveground and below-ground productivity. The Jacobians of the 32 food webs (two series, four stages with four replicates per stage) were calculated by Neutel et al. (2007) from observed average biomass data of the respective systems, and inferring steady-state biomass flow data using a procedure described by Hunt et al. (1987). The Jacobians represent the interaction strengths of the species in the two food webs, evaluated at equilibrium.
Between December 2012 and March 2013, snow measurements were conducted in 3 snow pits at both Gourlay Snowfield and Tuva Glacier, Signy Island, to determine the primary and bacterial production within the snowpacks. Sites are denoted ''TX'' and ''GY'', where ''X'' and ''Y'' are numbers representing one of nine snowpits in a grid at Tuva and Gourlay respectively. Snow samples of the ''top'' layer were taken from the surface snow layer at a depth of 0 to 20 cm from the surface; snow samples of the middle ''mid'' layer were taken from 20 cm to the bottom of the snow pit; and samples from the ''ice'' layer were taken from the superimposed ice at the bottom of the snow pit. Snow samples of the top and middle layer only were used for primary production, whilst bacterial production also included the lower ice layer. Samples collected from the pits were processed at Signy Station laboratory before being transported to the UK for further analysis. Funding was provided by the NERC grants NE/H014446/1 and NE/H014802/1.