Ayres, Edward and Dromph, Karsten M. and Bardgett, Richard D. (2006) Do plant species encourage soil biota that specialise in the rapid decomposition of their litter? Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 38 (1). pp. 183-186. ISSN 0038-0717Full text not available from this repository.
Plants are often nutrient limited and soil organisms are important in mediating nutrient availability to plants. Thus, there may be a selective advantage to plants that alter the soil community in ways that enhance the decomposition of their litter and, hence, their ability to access nutrients. We incubated litter from three tree species (Fagus sylvatica, Acer pseudoplatanus and Picea sitchensis) in the presence of biota extracted from soil beneath a stand of each species to test the hypothesis that litter decomposes fastest in the presence of biota derived from soil where that species is locally abundant. We found that respiration rate, a measure of decomposer activity and carbon mineralisation, was affected by litter type and source of soil biota, whereas, mass loss was only affected by litter type. However, litter from each tree species did not decompose faster in the presence of indigenous soil biota. These findings, therefore, provide no support for the notion that woodland plants encourage the development of soil communities that rapidly decompose their litter.
|Journal or Publication Title:||Soil Biology and Biochemistry|
|Uncontrolled Keywords:||Leaf litter ; Decomposition ; Mass loss ; Soil biota ; Flora ; Fauna ; Community structure ; Respiration ; Nutrient cycling ; Local adaptation|
|Subjects:||Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology|
|Departments:||Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre|
|Deposited By:||Prof Richard Bardgett|
|Deposited On:||11 Jul 2008 08:54|
|Last Modified:||13 Jan 2016 10:28|
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