Effects of temperature increases on the feeding activity of two species of isopods (Porcellio scaber, Porcellionides pruinosus) in laboratory tests
As a consequence of global warming, especially an increase in temperature, basic ecological services provided by Central European soil organisms such as organic matter decomposition might be impacted. Therefore, we investigated whether the feeding activity of isopods, namely a native temperate species, Porcellio scaber, and a Mediterranean species, Porcellionides pruinosus, would be affected by an increase in temperature. In detail, the consumption of litter by isopods at 20 °C and 28 °C was studied. During tests running for two weeks, the woodlice were fed with leaves not only from temperate (Acer plantanoides) but also Mediterranean (Acer opalus) maple trees. While the higher temperature clearly affected Porcellio scaber (higher mortality but also higher consumption), no such effect was found for the Mediterranean species. The results presented here indicate that Porcellionides pruinosus is able to take over the role of Porcellio scaber in Central Europe in litter decomposition in the case of, i.e., distribution changes due to global warming, as it is adapted to higher temperatures and demonstrates a constant feeding rate independent of the food source provided.
Isopoda, temperate, Mediterranean, maple leaves, decomposition, global warming