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dc.contributor.authorJoly, François‐Xavieren_UK
dc.contributor.authorCoq, Sylvainen_UK
dc.contributor.authorSubke, Jens‐Arneen_UK
dc.description.abstractPlant litter constitutes the dominant resource to soil food webs, which gradually decompose litter and transform it into soil organic matter. A central paradigm of this transformation posits that differences in quality between distinct litter types disappear during decomposition, as litter types converge towards similar physicochemical characteristics. Yet, this paradigm is debated and not based on clear metrics. It is also largely derived from microbial decomposition studies, while the effect of litter-feeding soil animals, by transforming large quantities of litter into faeces, remains poorly documented. We addressed this knowledge gap by quantifying the variability in physicochemical characteristics amongst leaf litter of six tree species of contrasting quality, before and after conversion into faeces by six soil animal species. We found that litter conversion into faeces by diverse soil animals largely reduced the variability in physical and chemical characteristics between contrasting litter types. We also evaluated the consequences of this animal-driven convergence on further microbial-driven convergence during decomposition, by decomposing intact litter and soil animal faeces and comparing the chemical characteristics of decomposed materials. Chemical variability amongst uningested litter and amongst soil animal faeces converged at similar rates. This indicates that animal- and microbial-driven convergence are additive, and that soil animals precipitate organic matter quality convergence during decomposition. We propose here a new framework and an associated metric to study changes in organic matter quality variability during decomposition, which we argue are essential for an improved understanding and modelling of litter decomposition and soil organic matter formation.en_UK
dc.relationJoly F, Coq S & Subke J (2022) Soil fauna precipitate the convergence of organic matter quality during decomposition. <i>Oikos</i>.
dc.rights© 2022 The Authors. Oikos published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.en_UK
dc.subjectcarbon cyclingen_UK
dc.subjectlitter-feeding macrofaunaen_UK
dc.subjectlitter complexityen_UK
dc.subjectnitrogen cyclingen_UK
dc.subjectplant–soil interactionsen_UK
dc.subjectsoil biodiversityen_UK
dc.titleSoil fauna precipitate the convergence of organic matter quality during decompositionen_UK
dc.typeJournal Articleen_UK
dc.type.statusVoR - Version of Recorden_UK
dc.contributor.funderNERC Natural Environment Research Councilen_UK
dc.contributor.funderThe British Ecological Societyen_UK
dc.description.notesOutput Status: Forthcoming/Available Onlineen_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationBiological and Environmental Sciencesen_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationUniversity of Montpellieren_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationBiological and Environmental Sciencesen_UK
dc.relation.funderprojectNSFDEB-NERC:Mycorrhizal drivers of SOM formation and decompositionen_UK
dc.relation.funderprojectWhat drives the quality and decay of soil detritivore faeces: the ingested litter quality, or the animal identity?en_UK
rioxxterms.typeJournal Article/Reviewen_UK
local.rioxx.authorJoly, François‐Xavier|0000-0002-4453-865Xen_UK
local.rioxx.authorCoq, Sylvain|en_UK
local.rioxx.authorSubke, Jens‐Arne|0000-0001-9244-639Xen_UK
local.rioxx.projectNE/P011098/1|Natural Environment Research Council|
local.rioxx.projectSR18/1215|The British Ecological Society|en_UK
Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles

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