Decomposition in tropical forests: a pan-tropical study of the effects of litter type, litter placement and mesofaunal exclusion across a precipitation gradient

Powers, Jennifer S and Montgomery, Rebecca A and Carol Adair, E and Brearley, Francis Q and DeWalt, Saara J and Castanho, Camila T and Chave, Jerome and Deinert, Erika and Ganzhorn, Jörg U and Gilbert, Matthew E and González-Iturbe, José Antonio and Bunyavejchewin, Sarayudh and Ricardo Grau, H and Harms, Kyle E and Ankila Hiremath , J and Iriarte-Vivar, Silvia and Manzane , Eric and De Oliveira, Alexandre A and Poorter, Lourens and Ramanamanjato, Jean-Baptiste and Salk, Carl and Varela, Amanda and Weiblen, George D and Lerdau, Manuel T (2009) Decomposition in tropical forests: a pan-tropical study of the effects of litter type, litter placement and mesofaunal exclusion across a precipitation gradient. Journal of Ecology , 97 (4). pp. 801-811. ISSN 1365-2745

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Abstract

Decomposition of dead plant material is an important process by which carbon fixed during photosynthesis is returned to the atmosphere (Schlesinger 1977; Singh & Gupta 1977), and is critical for nutrient cycling (Swift et al. 1979, Sayer 2006). As a primarily biotic process, decomposition and concomitant CO2 release and nutrient mineralization depend upon a number of drivers that directly and indirectly affect decomposer activity. Empirical studies, conducted largely in the temperate zone, have identified three key drivers of decomposition, in order of decreasing importance: climate, litter quality (e.g. chemical composition) and the decomposer community (e.g. bacteria, fungi and soil fauna (Meentemeyer 1978, 1984; Coûteaux et al. 1995). Despite the established importance of the decomposer community (Seastedt 1984; Bradford et al. 2002a), it is typically assumed that decomposition can be modelled using climate and litter chemistry data alone, with either no or very minimal information on the decomposer community (e.g. microbial biomass data; but see Moorhead & Sinsabaugh 2006; Wall et al. 2008). Models also typically assume that above- and below-ground decomposition are controlled by the same factors (Moorhead et al. 1999). Several lines of evidence suggest that these assumptions may not always hold, especially in tropical ecosystems

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article copyright belongs to British Ecological Society
Uncontrolled Keywords: above ground, below ground, climate decomposition index, decomposition, decomposer fauna, litter type, precipitation, tropical forests
Subjects: C Publications by ATREEians > G Journal Papers
Divisions: Publications by ATREEians > Journal Papers
Depositing User: Users 103 not found.
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2016 05:41
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2016 05:41
URI: http://eprints.atree.org/id/eprint/192

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