Invertebrate Effects On The Physical And Chemical Environment

As well as the direct effects already noted, invertebrates can alter the physical and chemical characteristics of organic resources (Swift and Boddy, 1984). For example, temperature and water relations can be altered by loss of bark due to subcortical feeding. Aeration of wood can be considerably improved by tunnelling. On the other hand, comminution provides much smaller particles more favourable to microfungi and bacteria than Basidiomycota, a potential example of ecological engineering (Jones et al., 1994). Invertebrate faeces have an entirely different chemical composition to the resources upon which they feed, for example, they are likely often to be rich in uric acid, and hence nitrogen (Krasnoshchekov and Vishnyakova, 2003).

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