Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

    We have a manual that explains all the features 

Record number 426942
Title Highly consistent effects of plant litter identity and functional traits on decomposition across a latitudinal gradient
Author(s) Makkonen, M.; Berg, M.P.; Handa, I.T.; Hättenschwiler, S.; Ruijven, J. van; Bodegom, P.M. van; Aerts, M.A.P.A.
Source Ecology Letters 15 (2012)9. - ISSN 1461-023X - p. 1033 - 1041.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2012.01826.x
Department(s) Nature Conservation and Plant Ecology
PE&RC
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2012
Keyword(s) tropical rain-forest - leaf-litter - terrestrial ecosystems - central argentina - carbon-cycle - rates - dynamics - climate - quality - diversity
Abstract Plant litter decomposition is a key process in terrestrial carbon cycling, yet the relative importance of various control factors remains ambiguous at a global scale. A full reciprocal litter transplant study with 16 litter species that varied widely in traits and originated from four forest sites covering a large latitudinal gradient (subarctic to tropics) showed a consistent interspecific ranking of decomposition rates. At a global scale, variation in decomposition was driven by a small subset of litter traits (water saturation capacity and concentrations of magnesium and condensed tannins). These consistent findings, that were largely independent of the varying local decomposer communities, suggest that decomposer communities show little specialisation and high metabolic flexibility in processing plant litter, irrespective of litter origin. Our results provide strong support for using trait-based approaches in modelling the global decomposition component of biosphere-atmosphere carbon fluxes
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