Plant Litter: Decomposition, Humus Formation, Carbon Sequestration


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Toggle navigation Menu. Name of resource. Problem URL. Describe the connection issue. SearchWorks Catalog Stanford Libraries. Plant litter : decomposition, humus formation, carbon sequestration. Digital text file; PDF. Edition Third edition. Publication Heidelberg : Springer, Physical description 1 online resource xvii, pages : illustrations. Online Available online. SpringerLink Full view. C R in litter from Bomb did not vary significantly between leaf and root litter. The initial C C of the litter placed in the litterbags was generally high but differed between leaf litter The pattern differed in subsequent years.

The C C in litter from Bomb and Caja varied similarly. It increased by 1. In the third year, the increase was 1. In the fourth year, C C decreased in both places by an average of 1. From 24 to 36, it decreased by 1. The decline continued in subsequent years at an average of Root litter lost only At higher altitudes, the decrease was also at a maximum in litter from Bomb with N R declined most strongly in leaf litter from Bomb with Initial N C of the litter materials in the litterbags was generally low but differed among sites for leaf litter 1.

In the other treatments, the increase in N C varied between 0.


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Overall, N C decreased with increasing altitude and was higher in leaf litter than in root litter. Litter from Bomb, which had the highest initial N C , had the lowest increase irrespective of altitude. In contrast, in litter from Caja the increase in N C in root litter 0. In contrast to this view, we showed that altitude affects decomposition by modifying microenvironmental conditions rather than the quality of the litter, that is, litter origin, which only slightly influenced the amount of C remaining C R in the early phase of decomposition. Our results support this view, with a rapid decline in the amount of litter C within the first year of decomposition irrespective of altitude.

Berg described that in the later phases of decomposition the rate of mass and C loss slows down and is dominated by the degradation of the remaining recalcitrant litter compounds such as lignin. This resumption of C loss indicates a third phase of decomposition which probably is associated with slow degradation of recalcitrant litter compounds such as lignin and a shift in the decomposer community toward lignin decomposing microorganisms. The long delay of this resumption of decomposition suggests that the late microbial community, degrading recalcitrant litter compounds, only establishes through facilitation by the activity of the early colonisers and the degradation of labile litter compounds.

Macrofauna density, therefore, cannot explain the difference in decomposition rates between the study sites. We showed in our study that decomposition patterns were similar at the two higher altitudes although temperature, precipitation, soil moisture, and soil pH varied between each of the three study sites. Further, our study shows that precipitation and soil pH also are of little importance.

We presume that the different forest floor types at the different altitudes contribute to the different decomposition dynamics. The lack of N transfer into the litter may cause a feedback loop, that is, the accumulation of organic material and the formation of thick F layers further inhibiting litter decomposition. We presume that this is because root litter contains higher concentrations of lignin and lower concentrations of N than leaf litter, resulting in a greater accumulation of recalcitrant litter compounds in the later phases of decomposition.

The initial N C of both leaf and root litter materials was generally low and increased during exposure at all the altitudes and in both litter types with the changes in N C varying with the initial N C. In litter material with initially high N C , the increase with time was less pronounced than in litter material with low N C , suggesting that N C values converge with time. This contrasts decomposition of litter materials low in N in temperate and boreal forest ecosystems which typically accumulate N for longer periods of time Berg, The reduction in N R at later stages of litter decay also varied with the initial N C.

In litter material with low initial N C , the increase in N C was stronger than in litter material with high initial N C. This suggests that plant roots at the study site are unable to obtain a sufficient amount of N from decomposing litter. Plants presumably rely on mycorrhizal fungi improving N capture by growing into leaf and root litter material. This linkage likewise was evident throughout the decomposition process in our study.

This again supports our conclusion that litter resources are of low quality and difficult to decompose due to low N and high concentrations of recalcitrant compounds. This again supports our conclusion that net N mobilization from the litter was due to trophic interactions between saprotrophic microorganisms, microbial grazers and VA mycorrhizal fungi see above.

Christine Jones -- Soil Carbon: From microbes to mitigation

High qO 2 during this phase see Fig. Franca Marian involved in investigation, formal analysis, and writing the original draft. Dorothee Sandmann and Valentyna Krashevska involved in investigation; formal analysis; and writing, review, and editing of the manuscript. Mark Maraun and Stefan Scheu involved in conceptualization; methodology; writing, review, and editing of the manuscript; supervision; and funding acquisition.

Nitrogen additions stimulate litter humification in a subtropical forest, southwestern China

Measurements of C and N were performed in the laboratory of Prof. Ergosterol measurements were performed in the laboratory of Prof. Rainer Georg Joergensen Witzenhausen, Germany. We thank the German and Ecuadorian students and helpers for their support in the establishment of the experimental field sites, collecting of samples and work in the laboratory. Leaf and root litter decomposition is discontinued at high altitude tropical montane rainforests contributing to carbon sequestration. Ecol Evol. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Ecol Evol v. Published online Jul Franca Marian 1 J.


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Dorothee Sandmann 1 J. Valentyna Krashevska 1 J. Mark Maraun 1 J. Stefan Scheu 1 J. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer.

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Franca Marian, Email: ed. Corresponding author. Email: ed. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.


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  8. Associated Data Supplementary Materials. Keywords: altitudinal gradient, Ecuador, litter quality, litter type, litterbag, microbial biomass. Study site The study area was in southern Ecuador on the eastern slope of the Andes. Experimental setup Nylon bags litterbags, 4 mm mesh were used to investigate the decomposition and microbial colonization of leaves and roots, that is, two types of litter materials. Open in a separate window. Figure 1. Analytical procedures After retrieval, the remaining leaf and root litter were cleaned by removing roots that had grown into the litterbags.

    Calculations and statistical analysis We focused on the variation in the amount and concentration of C within the litter material in order to be able to link decomposition processes closely to energetic processes.

    Plant Litter: Decomposition, Humus Formation, Carbon Sequestration by Björn Berg

    Figure 2. Figure 3. Figure 4. Figure 5.

    Stanford Libraries

    Climate, leaf litter chemistry and leaf litter decomposition in terrestrial ecosystems: A triangular relationship. Oikos , 79 3 , — Nature Geoscience , 3 5 , — A physiological method for the quantitative measurement of microbial biomass in soils. Soil Biology and Biochemistry , 10 3 , — Nature , , — Ecology , 96 3 , — Global centers of vascular plant diversity. Scientific Research An Academic Publisher. Berg, B. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, Germany.

    Plant Litter: Decomposition, Humus Formation, Carbon Sequestration Plant Litter: Decomposition, Humus Formation, Carbon Sequestration
    Plant Litter: Decomposition, Humus Formation, Carbon Sequestration Plant Litter: Decomposition, Humus Formation, Carbon Sequestration
    Plant Litter: Decomposition, Humus Formation, Carbon Sequestration Plant Litter: Decomposition, Humus Formation, Carbon Sequestration
    Plant Litter: Decomposition, Humus Formation, Carbon Sequestration Plant Litter: Decomposition, Humus Formation, Carbon Sequestration
    Plant Litter: Decomposition, Humus Formation, Carbon Sequestration Plant Litter: Decomposition, Humus Formation, Carbon Sequestration
    Plant Litter: Decomposition, Humus Formation, Carbon Sequestration Plant Litter: Decomposition, Humus Formation, Carbon Sequestration
    Plant Litter: Decomposition, Humus Formation, Carbon Sequestration Plant Litter: Decomposition, Humus Formation, Carbon Sequestration
    Plant Litter: Decomposition, Humus Formation, Carbon Sequestration Plant Litter: Decomposition, Humus Formation, Carbon Sequestration

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