Negrete-Yankelevich, S., Fragoso, C. E., Newton, A., Russell, G. and Heal, O. W., 2008. Species-Specific Characteristics of Trees can Determine the Litter Macroinvertebrate Community and Decomposition Process Below Their Canopies. Plant and Soil, 307 (1-2), pp. 83-97.
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11104-008-9585-5
This paper tests whether individual trees in a mature forest stand influence the process of litter decomposition and the macroinvertebrate communities in the soil underneath their canopies, as a result of species-specific characteristics. A field decomposition experiment was performed in a mature forest stand of tropical montane cloud forest in Mexico. The areas under the canopies of Quercus laurina Humbl. & Bompl., Oreopanax xalapensis (Kunth) Decne. & Planchon and Beilschmedia ovalis (Blake) C. K. Allen trees were used as experimental units. The natural soil and litter macroinvertebrate communities were monitored and compared to the community that invaded decomposition boxes with reciprocally transplanted leaf litter. The abundances of four macroinvertebrate taxa in natural litter differed among tree species independently of season. No differences were found in the soil community. The response to experimental litter by macroinvertebrate taxa suggests that the production of a specific quality of litter is an important mechanism by which a tree influences the litter macroinvertebrate community that develops under its canopy. However, not all differences in community composition naturally found between tree species can be explained by differences in litter quality during the first year of decomposition. Differences in nutrient release that occur after the first year, and physical properties of litter also probably play an important role. Independently of the canopy tree, the initial chemical quality (N, P, Ca, Mg and lignin) of experimental litter largely determined the decomposition rate and nutrient dynamics of decomposing leaves. However, it was found that under O. xalapensis trees the breakdown of lignin from the litter produced by the same species of tree was particularly effective. This suggests that a feedback has developed between this tree species and the decomposer community prevailing under its canopy.
|Subjects:||Geography and Environmental Studies|
Science > Biology and Botany
|Group:||School of Applied Sciences > Centre for Conservation, Ecology and Environmental Change|
|Deposited By:||INVALID USER|
|Deposited On:||14 Nov 2008 20:48|
|Last Modified:||07 Mar 2013 14:56|
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