Litter Chemistry (litter + chemistry)

Distribution by Scientific Domains


Selected Abstracts


Phenotypic diversity and litter chemistry affect nutrient dynamics during litter decomposition in a two species mix

OIKOS, Issue 1 2004
Michael D. Madritch
We have previously demonstrated that the intraspecific diversity of leaf litter can influence ecosystem functioning during litter decomposition in the field. It is unknown whether the effects of phenotypic diversity persist when litter from an additional species is present. We used laboratory microcosms to determine whether the intraspecific diversity effects of turkey oak leaf litter on nutrient dynamics are confounded by the presence of naturally co-occurring longleaf pine litter. We varied the phenotypic diversity of oak litter (1, 3, and 6 phenotype combinations) in the presence and absence of pine litter and measured fluxes of carbon and nitrogen over a 42-week period. The average soil C:N ratio peaked at intermediate levels of oak phenotypic diversity and the total amount of dissolved organic carbon leached from microcosms decreased (marginally) with increasing oak phenotypic diversity. The soil carbon content, and the total amount of ammonium, nitrate, and dissolved organic carbon leached from microcosms were all influenced by initial litter chemistry. Our results suggest that the effects of phenotypic diversity can persist in the presence of another species, however specific litter chemistries (condensed and hydrolysable tannins, simple phenolics, C:N ratios) are more important than phenotypic litter diversity to most nutrient fluxes during litter decomposition. [source]


Enhanced litter input rather than changes in litter chemistry drive soil carbon and nitrogen cycles under elevated CO2: a microcosm study

GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY, Issue 2 2009
LINGLI LIU
Abstract Elevated CO2 has been shown to stimulate plant productivity and change litter chemistry. These changes in substrate availability may then alter soil microbial processes and possibly lead to feedback effects on N availability. However, the strength of this feedback, and even its direction, remains unknown. Further, uncertainty remains whether sustained increases in net primary productivity will lead to increased long-term C storage in soil. To examine how changes in litter chemistry and productivity under elevated CO2 influence microbial activity and soil C formation, we conducted a 230-day microcosm incubation with five levels of litter addition rate that represented 0, 0.5, 1.0, 1.4 and 1.8 litterfall rates observed in the field for aspen stand growing under control treatments at the Aspen FACE experiment in Rhinelander, WI, USA. Litter and soil samples were collected from the corresponding field control and elevated CO2 treatment after trees were exposed to elevated CO2 (560 ppm) for 7 years. We found that small decreases in litter [N] under elevated CO2 had minor effects on microbial biomass carbon, microbial biomass nitrogen and dissolved inorganic nitrogen. Increasing litter addition rates resulted in linear increase in total C and new C (C from added litter) that accumulated in whole soil as well as in the high density soil fraction (HDF), despite higher cumulative C loss by respiration. Total N retained in whole soil and in HDF also increased with litter addition rate as did accumulation of new C per unit of accumulated N. Based on our microcosm comparisons and regression models, we expected that enhanced C inputs rather than changes in litter chemistry would be the dominant factor controlling soil C levels and turnover at the current level of litter production rate (230 g C m,2 yr,1 under ambient CO2). However, our analysis also suggests that the effects of changes in biochemistry caused by elevated CO2 could become significant at a higher level of litter production rate, with a trend of decreasing total C in HDF, new C in whole soil, as well as total N in whole soil and HDF. [source]


Effects of ultraviolet radiation on litter decomposition depend on precipitation and litter chemistry in a shortgrass steppe ecosystem

GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY, Issue 10 2007
LESLIE A. BRANDT
Abstract We examined the effect of altered levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation (280,400 nm) and different amounts of precipitation on the decomposition rates of litter of contrasting carbon to nitrogen ratio (C : N) in a 3-year field experiment in a shortgrass steppe (SGS) ecosystem. UV radiation was either blocked or passed under clear plastic tents where precipitation was applied to simulate a very dry or very wet year. These treatments minimized or maximized the abiotic component (UV) or the biotic component (biological activity of decomposer organisms) of decomposition to assess potential interactions between the two. Initial litter chemistry varied in response to having been grown under ambient or elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations. While precipitation and litter chemistry were the most important drivers in decomposition in this system, UV radiation increased decomposition rates under dry conditions in litter with higher C : N ratios. Exposure to UV radiation slightly increased the amount of holocellulose that was lost from the litter. UV exposure did not affect the decomposition of the lignin fraction. Increased decomposition with UV radiation was accompanied by a decrease in N immobilization over the summer months. These results suggest that the effects of UV radiation on decomposition rates may be primarily abiotic, caused by direct photochemical degradation of the litter. Our results demonstrate that the role of UV radiation in litter decomposition in semiarid systems depends on the aridity of the system and the chemistry of the litter. [source]


Phenotypic diversity and litter chemistry affect nutrient dynamics during litter decomposition in a two species mix

OIKOS, Issue 1 2004
Michael D. Madritch
We have previously demonstrated that the intraspecific diversity of leaf litter can influence ecosystem functioning during litter decomposition in the field. It is unknown whether the effects of phenotypic diversity persist when litter from an additional species is present. We used laboratory microcosms to determine whether the intraspecific diversity effects of turkey oak leaf litter on nutrient dynamics are confounded by the presence of naturally co-occurring longleaf pine litter. We varied the phenotypic diversity of oak litter (1, 3, and 6 phenotype combinations) in the presence and absence of pine litter and measured fluxes of carbon and nitrogen over a 42-week period. The average soil C:N ratio peaked at intermediate levels of oak phenotypic diversity and the total amount of dissolved organic carbon leached from microcosms decreased (marginally) with increasing oak phenotypic diversity. The soil carbon content, and the total amount of ammonium, nitrate, and dissolved organic carbon leached from microcosms were all influenced by initial litter chemistry. Our results suggest that the effects of phenotypic diversity can persist in the presence of another species, however specific litter chemistries (condensed and hydrolysable tannins, simple phenolics, C:N ratios) are more important than phenotypic litter diversity to most nutrient fluxes during litter decomposition. [source]