Soil Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning


Global Litter Invertebrate Decomposition Experiment

Integrating Soil Biodiversity and an Ecosystem Process: Analysis of a Global Experiment
San Ramon, California, USA
March 16-19, 2005

We are currently preparing for the second GLIDE Workshop, to be held in San Ramon, California. In this workshop, a small group of GLIDE Collaborators, primarily composed of members of the Steering and Advisory Committees, will gather to analyze the final dataset and prepare a manuscript for publication. As agreed upon during GLIDE Workshop I, following the publication of the global synthesis on the biodiversity and litter decomposition, the dataset will be made available to all GLIDE Site Managers to enable them to publish from the results.

Currently, the combined data from 33 sites includes 77,461 soil animals from 29 different higher taxa including mites, springtails, true bugs, flies, beetles, snails, wasps, booklice, pillbugs, thrips and spiders. This data, plus a decomposition data set (chemistry and rates from one plant species) will be incorporated with individual site characteristics (climatic variables, temp, moisture, soil type) provided by site managers, www sites, or other sources. Participants will analyze invertebrate diversity per site, over time as litter decayed and determine the relationship to change in litter quality (chemistry). They will synthesize this combined data set to address the four key questions of GLIDE using available data and statistical analysis, as determined by experts:

  • Are the roles that soil organisms play in decomposition similar across different vegetation types and latitude around the world?
  • Does the composition of soil organism communities vary with latitude and decomposition rate? In other words, do they follow the aboveground data that shows increasing diversity in the tropics versus the poles?
  • Are similar groups of soil organisms involved in decomposition irrespective of changing C:N or latitude?
  • At varying latitudes, what are the effects of excluding soil organisms on rates of litter decomposition?

ALL DATA will be available for workshop participants after March 1.

BioTrack is currently completing higher-level sorting of the specimens, and will provide us with the full dataset by 28 February. The decomposition dataset is ready for participants to begin working with. As one trial run, litter decay was treated to analysis by the Century Model (Parton et al. 1987) in a manner similar to that used for a litter experiment that did not consider the role of invertebrates. Those analyses on the GLIDE data will also be available for participants to review after March 1 in order to begin preliminary analysis prior to the meeting date.

Workshop participants should bring laptop computers and data storage devices for information sharing, and come prepared to write a solid draft of a manuscript for submission to Science. We expect to have a manuscript in the review process within eight months of the workshop.

We look forward to this next, and final, workshop, and the completion of the GLIDE Project as a model for other Soil Biodiversity Networks across the globe!

Parton, W.J., D.S. Schimel, C.V. Cole, and D.S. Ojima. 1987. Analysis of factors controlling soil organic matter levels in Great Plains Grasslands. Soil Science Society of America Journal 51: 1173-1179.




What is GLIDE?



Study Design



2005 Meeting

2003 Meeting


Image Gallery



This webpage is funded by the Soil Science Society of America.

Please contact the GLIDE headquarters (email: if you have any comments or questions.

GLIDE was a project of the International Biodiversity Observation Year 2001-2002

This material is based upon work supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 98 06437 Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


Search this site powered by FreeFind


This page was last updated on March 24, 2005

Apply to CSU