Edge Effects on Corticolous Collembola in Richmond Park (UK)

Victoria Standing, Peter Shaw

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ABSTRACT Edge effects are thought to affect many woodland life forms, but there are few studies on edge effects in corticolous Collembola (Springtails). This project used vacuum-collections of Collembola from tree bark (1-2m elevation) to test for edge effects along 64m transects in four plantations within Richmond Park over four seasons in 2015. The biggest factor affecting collembolan populations was found to be season (with numbers peaking in winter), along with the depth of bark crevices (with highest numbers in the deepest crevices). The two commonest Collembola, Orchesella cincta (L.) and Entomobrya albocincta (Templeton), showed significant woodland-edge avoidance. The dataset included far more specimens of Entomobrya corticalis (Nicolet) (128) than all previous reliable UK records combined (2), almost entirely off old oaks Quercus robur L.. Unexpectedly almost no specimens of the locally dominant (putatively invasive) corticolous species Entomobrya intermedia Brook were collected, instead finding many Entomobrya nivalis (L.). These findings are the first report of an edge-effect in corticolous Collembola, and also suggest that the woods of Richmond Park are harbouring a relic springtail community, isolated by the extensive acid grassland around them.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalBritish Journal of Entomology and Natural History
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017


  • Corticolous arthropods, climatic gradient, Entomobrya corticalis, bark depth.

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