Effects of reduced precipitation on litter decomposition in an evergreen broad-leaved forest in western China
Publication date: 15 December 2018
Source: Forest Ecology and Management, Volume 430
Author(s): Shixing Zhou, Congde Huang, Yuanbin Xiang, Liehua Tie, Bohan Han, Stefan Scheu
Litter decomposition is a fundamental process of biogeochemical cycles and plays a critical role in regulating carbon (C) and nutrient mineralization in terrestrial ecosystems. Examining responses of litter decomposition to altered precipitation is crucial to understand terrestrial C dynamics and its feedback to climate change. To understand the effects of reduced precipitation on litter decomposition, a two-year throughfall reduction experiment was carried out in a natural evergreen broad-leaved forest in western China. Five throughfall reduction levels were investigated: control without throughfall reduction (Ctr), 5% (W1), 10% (W2), 20% (W3) and 50% throughfall reduction (W4). Throughfall reduction significantly reduced soil moisture, which was most pronounced in W3 and W4 treatments, and this was associated by significantly reduced cumulative litter mass loss and lower decomposition constants. Also, throughfall reduction significantly altered litter C, N and P dynamics. In particular in W2, W3 and W4 treatments the release of C and N was significantly reduced, whereas in W2 and W3 the immobilization of P was increased. Overall, the results suggest that future decrease in precipitation will suppress litter decomposition, whereas microbial P limitation in litter may be aggravated in broad-leaved forest ecosystems.
via ScienceDirect Publication: Forest Ecology and Management https://ift.tt/2zaqiu8