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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Litter diversity accelerates labile carbon but slows recalcitrant carbon decomposition
Author(s): Wang, Lifeng
Zhou, Yu
Chen, Yamei
Xu, Zhenfeng
Zhang, Jian
Liu, Yang
Joly, François-Xavier
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Keywords: Biodiversity–ecosystem functioning
Carbon fractions
Functional diversity
Litter diversity
Litter quality
Litter mixture
Issue Date: May-2022
Date Deposited: 26-May-2022
Citation: Wang L, Zhou Y, Chen Y, Xu Z, Zhang J, Liu Y & Joly F (2022) Litter diversity accelerates labile carbon but slows recalcitrant carbon decomposition. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 168, Art. No.: 108632.
Abstract: In biodiverse ecosystems, leaf litter of different plant species decomposes in mixtures, for which decomposition rates notoriously deviate from that expected from monospecific treatments. Despite important research efforts in past decades, these litter diversity effects remain difficult to predict. We hypothesized that this is due to a focus on bulk litter decomposition, while different carbon fractions constituting the litter may respond differently to litter diversity, thereby blurring the overall response. To test this hypothesis, we determined how the decomposition of (i) soluble compounds, (ii) cellulose, and (iii) lignin responded to litter mixing in a 3.5-year field experiment in an alpine forest. We found that the decomposition of soluble compounds and cellulose in mixtures was faster than expected from monospecific treatments, while that of lignin was slower. These deviations from expected decomposition rates of each litter carbon fraction were driven by different aspects of the litter functional diversity. This suggests that different mechanisms operating on distinct litter fractions lead to synergistic and antagonistic interactions that simultaneously affect bulk litter decomposition. Furthermore, the magnitude of these fraction-specific deviations from expected decomposition rates consistently decreased throughout decomposition. Considering the response of litter fractions and their temporality, rather than focusing on bulk litter thus seems critical to evaluate the response of decomposition to plant diversity and identify underlying mechanisms.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2022.108632
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. Accepted refereed manuscript of: Wang L, Zhou Y, Chen Y, Xu Z, Zhang J, Liu Y & Joly F (2022) Litter diversity accelerates labile carbon but slows recalcitrant carbon decomposition. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 168, p. 108632. © 2022, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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