Bioturbation by bandicoots facilitates seedling growth by altering soil properties

Date: 06, Jan, 2018
Author(s):   L. Valentine, K. Ruthrof, R. Fisher, G. St.J. Hardy, R.J. Hobbs, P.A. Flemming
Publisher: Functional Ecology

Animals that forage for food via bioturbation can alter their habitat, influencing soil turnover, nutrient cycling and seedling recruitment, effectively acting as ecosystem engineers. Many digging mammals forage for food by digging small pits and creating spoil heaps with the discarded soil. We examined how small-scale bioturbation, created by the foraging actions of an ecosystem engineer, can alter soil nutrients and subsequently improve growth of plants.