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

Jennifer S Powers, Rebecca A Montgomery, E. Carol Adair, Francis Q. Brearley, Saara J. Dewalt, Camila T. Castanho, Jerome Chave, Erika Deinert, Jörg U. Ganzhorn, Matthew E. Gilbert, José Antonio González-Iturbe, Sarayudh Bunyavejchewin, H. Ricardo Grau, Kyle E. Harms, Ankila Hiremath, Silvia Iriarte-Vivar, Eric Manzane, Alexandre A. De Oliveira, Lourens Poorter, Jean Baptiste RamanamanjatoCarl Salk, Amanda Varela, George D Weiblen, Manuel T. Lerdau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

177 Scopus citations

Abstract

Litter decomposition recycles nutrients and causes large ?uxes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It is typically assumed that climate, litter quality and decomposer communities determine litter decay rates, yet few comparative studies have examined their relative contributions in tropical forests. 2. We used a short-term litterbag experiment to quantify the effects of litter quality, placement and mesofaunal exclusion on decomposition in 23 tropical forests in 14 countries. Annual precipitation varied among sites (7605797 mm). At each site, two standard substrates (Raphia farinifera and Laurus nobilis) were decomposed in ?ne- and coarse-mesh litterbags both above and below ground for approximately 1 year.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)801-811
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Ecology
Volume97
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2009

Keywords

  • Above ground
  • Below ground
  • Climate decomposition index
  • Decomposer fauna
  • Decomposition
  • Litter type
  • Precipitation
  • Tropical forests

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Decomposition in tropical forests: A pan-tropical study of the effects of litter type, litter placement and mesofaunal exclusion across a precipitation gradient'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this