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leaf litter decomposition

Mathieu Santonja, Laura Pellan, Christophe Piscart
Plant litter decomposition is an essential ecosystem function that contributes to carbon and nutrient cycling in streams. Aquatic shredders, mainly macroinvertebrates, can affect this process in various ways; they consume leaf litter, breaking it down into fragments and creating suitable habitats or resources for other organisms through the production of fine particulate organic matter (FPOM). However, measures of litter-feeding traits across a wide range of aquatic macroinvertebrates are still rare. Here, we assessed the contributions of 11 species of freshwater macroinvertebrates to litter decomposition, by measuring consumption rate, FPOM production, and assimilation rate of highly decomposable ( Alnus glutinosa ) or poorly decomposable ( Quercus robur ) leaf litter types...
March 2018: Ecology and Evolution
Wei Fu, Xingyuan He, Sheng Xu, Wei Chen, Yan Li, Bo Li, Lili Su, Qin Ping
Ground-level ozone (O3 ) pollution has been widely concerned in the world, particularly in the cities of Asia, including China. Elevated O3 concentrations have potentially influenced growth and nutrient cycling of trees in urban forest. The decomposition characteristics of urban tree litters under O3 exposure are still poorly known. Ginkgo biloba is commonly planted in the cities of northern China and is one of the main tree species in the urban forest of Shenyang, where concentrations of ground-level O3 are very high in summer...
2018: PeerJ
Sara L Jackrel, Timothy C Morton
Differences among individuals within species affect community and ecosystem processes in many systems, and may rival the importance of differences between species. Intraspecific variation consists of both plastic and genetic components that are regulated by different processes and operate on different time scales. Therefore, probing which mechanisms can affect traits sufficiently strongly to affect ecosystem processes is fundamental to understanding the consequences of individual variation. We find that a dominant deciduous tree of Pacific Northwest riparian ecosystems, red alder, exhibits strong and synergistic responses to nutrient resources and herbivory stress...
February 26, 2018: Oecologia
Witoon Purahong, Tesfaye Wubet, Tiemo Kahl, Tobias Arnstadt, Björn Hoppe, Guillaume Lentendu, Kristin Baber, Tyler Rose, Harald Kellner, Martin Hofrichter, Jürgen Bauhus, Dirk Krüger, François Buscot
Nitrogen deposition can strongly affect biodiversity, but its specific effects on terrestrial microbial communities and their roles for ecosystem functions and processes are still unclear. Here, we investigated the impacts of N deposition on wood-inhabiting fungi (WIF) and their related ecological functions and processes in a highly N-limited deadwood habitat. Based on high-throughput sequencing, enzymatic activity assay and measurements of wood decomposition rates, we show that N addition has no significant effect on the overall WIF community composition or on related ecosystem functions and processes in this habitat...
February 23, 2018: Environmental Microbiology
José Rincón, Diana Merchán, Agustin Sparer, Damodara Rojas, Edwin Zarate
The ecological condition of tropical Andean rivers are threatened by many human activities including changes in land use and cover in watersheds. Current protocols diagnose the structural condition of streams but not their function. In this study we proposed an assessment tool using the leaf-litter breakdown as a measure of the functional condition and health of high Andean streams in Southern Ecuador, including methodology and threshold values adapted to local conditions. We selected 15 streams in three micro-basins (Mazán, Llaviuco and Matadero) within or in the vicinity of Cajas National Park where we deployed litterbags for 15, 28 and 64 days...
March 2017: Revista de Biología Tropical
Jingjing Du, Yuyan Zhang, Wei Guo, Ningyun Li, Chaoshuai Gao, Minghui Cui, Zhongdian Lin, Mingbao Wei, Hongzhong Zhang
Titanium dioxide (TiO2 ) nanoparticles have been applied in diverse commercial products, which could lead to toxic effects on aquatic microbes and would inhibit some important ecosystem processes. The study aimed to investigate the chronic impacts of TiO2 nanoparticles with different concentrations (5, 50, and 500 mg L-1 ) on Populus nigra L. leaf decomposition in the freshwater ecosystem. After 50 d of decomposing, a significant decrease in decomposition rates was observed with higher concentrations of TiO2 nanoparticles...
February 8, 2018: Journal of Hazardous Materials
Javier Pérez, Aingeru Martínez, Enrique Descals, Jesús Pozo
Aquatic hyphomycetes represent a large component of the microbial assemblage that decomposes submerged leaf-litter in fluvial ecosystems. The structure and activity of these fungal decomposers depend on environmental factors. Fungal communities may adapt to local habitat conditions; however, little is known about how fungal communities respond to abrupt changes in factors such as nutrient availability and temperature. To respond to this question, we carried out a cross-transplantation experiment, which assessed the decomposer activity and structure of this microbial community on decaying leaves transplanted from a cold and oligotrophic stream (S1) to a warmer and nitrogen-richer one (S2) and vice versa...
February 7, 2018: Microbial Ecology
Juha Mikola, Tarja Silfver, Ulla Paaso, Boy J M H Possen, Matti Rousi
Plants enhance N use efficiency by resorbing N from senescing leaves. This can affect litter N mineralization rate due to the C:N-ratio requirements of microbial growth. We examined genotypic links between leaf N resorption and litter mineralization by collecting leaves and litter from 19 Betula pendula genotypes and following the N release of litter patches on forest ground. We found significant genotypic variation for N resorption efficiency, litter N concentration, cumulative three-year patch N-input and litter N release with high broad-sense heritabilities (H2 = 0...
February 7, 2018: Ecology
Yanyu Song, Changchun Song, Jiusheng Ren, Wenwen Tan, Shaofei Jin, Lei Jiang
Nitrogen (N) availability affects litter decomposition and nutrient dynamics, especially in N-limited ecosystems. We investigated the response of litter decomposition to N additions in Eriophorum vaginatum and Vaccinium uliginosum peatlands. These two species dominate peatlands in Northeast China. In 2012, mesh bags containing senesced leaf litter of Eriophorum vaginatum and Vaccinium uliginosum were placed in N addition plots and sprayed monthly for two years with NH4NO3 solution at dose rates of 0, 6, 12, and 24gNm-2year-1 (CK, N1, N2 and N3, respectively)...
January 2, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Daan Blok, Samuel Faucherre, Imre Banyasz, Riikka Rinnan, Anders Michelsen, Bo Elberling
Tundra regions are projected to warm rapidly during the coming decades. The tundra biome holds the largest terrestrial carbon pool, largely contained in frozen permafrost soils. With warming, these permafrost soils may thaw and become available for microbial decomposition, potentially providing a positive feedback to global warming. Warming may directly stimulate microbial metabolism but may also indirectly stimulate organic matter turnover through increased plant productivity by soil priming from root exudates and accelerated litter turnover rates...
December 13, 2017: Global Change Biology
Juanita Mora-Gómez, Sofia Duarte, Fernanda Cássio, Cláudia Pascoal, Anna M Romaní
Drought frequency and intensity in some temperate regions are forecasted to increase under the ongoing global change, which might expose permanent streams to intermittence and have severe repercussions on stream communities and ecosystem processes. In this study, we investigated the effect of drought duration on microbial decomposition of Populus nigra leaf litter in a temperate permanent stream (Oliveira, NW Portugal). Specifically, we measured the response of the structural (assemblage composition, bacterial and fungal biomass) and functional (leaf litter decomposition, extracellular enzyme activities (EEA), and fungal sporulation) parameters of fungal and bacterial communities on leaf litter exposed to emersion during different time periods (7, 14 and 21d)...
April 15, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Ya-Jun Xie, Yong-Hong Xie, Hua-Yun Xiao, Zheng-Miao Deng, Ying Pan, Bai-Han Pan, Jia-Yu Hu
Aromatic plants show antimicrobial activity due to their essential oils, but their effect on litter decomposition is unclear. In this study, we evaluated the biomass loss and nutrient dynamics in leaf litters of two macrophytes (Miscanthus sacchariflorus and Carex brevicuspis) with and without addition of powdered material of the aromatic plant Polygonum hydropiper or the non-aromatic plant C. brevicuspis. The two powders had similar basic chemical qualities but P. hydropiperi had a higher essential oils concentration...
November 30, 2017: Scientific Reports
Sabine Both, Dafydd M O Elias, Ully H Kritzler, Nick J Ostle, David Johnson
In hyperdiverse tropical forests, the key drivers of litter decomposition are poorly understood despite its crucial role in facilitating nutrient availability for plants and microbes. Selective logging is a pressing land use with potential for considerable impacts on plant-soil interactions, litter decomposition, and nutrient cycling. Here, in Borneo's tropical rainforests, we test the hypothesis that decomposition is driven by litter quality and that there is a significant "home-field advantage," that is positive interaction between local litter quality and land use...
November 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Guillaume Patoine, Madhav P Thakur, Julia Friese, Charles Nock, Lydia Hönig, Josephine Haase, Michael Scherer-Lorenzen, Nico Eisenhauer
A better understanding of the mechanisms driving litter diversity effects on decomposition is needed to predict how biodiversity losses affect this crucial ecosystem process. In a microcosm study, we investigated the effects of litter functional diversity and two major groups of soil macro-detritivores on the mass loss of tree leaf litter mixtures. Furthermore, we tested the effects of litter trait community means and dissimilarity on litter mass loss for seven traits relevant to decomposition. We expected macro-detritivore effects on litter mass loss to be most pronounced in litter mixtures of high functional diversity...
November 2017: Pedobiologia
Colin Averill, Bonnie Waring
The availability of nitrogen (N) is a critical control on the cycling and storage of soil carbon (C). Yet, there are conflicting conceptual models to explain how N availability influences the decomposition of organic matter by soil microbial communities. Several lines of evidence suggest that N availability limits decomposition; the earliest stages of leaf litter decay are associated with a net import of N from the soil environment, and both observations and models show that high N organic matter decomposes more rapidly...
April 2018: Global Change Biology
Ryan M Burrows, Helen Rutlidge, Nick R Bond, Stefan M Eberhard, Alexandra Auhl, Martin S Andersen, Dominic G Valdez, Mark J Kennard
Organic carbon cycling is a fundamental process that underpins energy transfer through the biosphere. However, little is known about the rates of particulate organic carbon processing in the hyporheic zone of intermittent streams, which is often the only wetted environment remaining when surface flows cease. We used leaf litter and cotton decomposition assays, as well as rates of microbial respiration, to quantify rates of organic carbon processing in surface and hyporheic environments of intermittent and perennial streams under a range of substrate saturation conditions...
October 16, 2017: Scientific Reports
Biying Zhao, Peng Xing, Qinglong L Wu
Knowledge of aquatic microbes involved in macrophyte leaf litter decomposition is still scarce in freshwater lakes. In situ experiments (150 days) were conducted to study the decomposition processes of macrophyte leaf litters: Zizania latifolia (Zl), Hydrilla verticillata (Hv), and Nymphoides peltata (Np). The decomposition of Np leaf litter was fastest whereas Zl was slowest. The alpha diversity of both bacterial and fungal communities significantly increased, and their community structures showed significant variations over time...
September 4, 2017: FEMS Microbiology Ecology
Margarida Soares, Emma S Kritzberg, Johannes Rousk
Microbial decomposers colonising submerged leaf litter are in close spatial proximity with periphytic algae and can use carbon (C) exudates released during photosynthesis. We investigated whether labile C delivered as algal exudates could affect the microbial colonisation and decomposition of leaf litter. Using microcosms, we submerged leaf litter in pond water and monitored fungal and bacterial growth over time and tested the effect of algal photosynthetic exudates by comparing microcosms in light and dark...
September 1, 2017: FEMS Microbiology Ecology
Mia R Maltz, Kathleen K Treseder, Krista L McGuire
Habitat fragmentation is widespread across ecosystems, detrimentally affecting biodiversity. Although most habitat fragmentation studies have been conducted on macroscopic organisms, microbial communities and fungal processes may also be threatened by fragmentation. This study investigated whether fragmentation, and the effects of fragmentation on plants, altered fungal diversity and function within a fragmented shrubland in southern California. Using fluorimetric techniques, we assayed enzymes from plant litter collected from fragments of varying sizes to investigate enzymatic responses to fragmentation...
2017: PloS One
Jochen P Zubrod, Rebecca Bundschuh, Dominic Englert, Markus Rohrberg, Matthias V Wieczorek, Nikita Bakanov, Ralf Schulz, Mirco Bundschuh
Invertebrate-mediated leaf litter decomposition is frequently used to assess stress-related implications in stream ecosystem integrity. In situ measures such as the mass loss from leaf bags or the feeding of caged invertebrates deployed for days or weeks may, however, fail to detect transient effects due to recovery or compensatory mechanisms. We assessed the relevance of transient effects using the peak exposure towards an insecticide (i.e., etofenprox) as a model scenario at three levels of complexity. These were 1) the assessment of the decomposition realised by invertebrate communities in stream mesocosms over 21 days via leaf bags, 2) 7-days lasting in situ bioassays quantifying the leaf consumption of Gammarus fossarum, and 3) a laboratory experiment determining the daily feeding rate of the same species over 7 days...
December 2017: Environmental Pollution
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