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Reactivity continuum modeling of leaf, root, and wood decomposition across biomes
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Limnology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Limnology.
2015 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research - Biogeosciences, ISSN 2169-8953, E-ISSN 2169-8961, Vol. 120, no 7, 1196-1214 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Large carbon dioxide amounts are released to the atmosphere during organic matter decomposition. Yet the large-scale and long-term regulation of this critical process in global carbon cycling by litter chemistry and climate remains poorly understood. We used reactivity continuum (RC) modeling to analyze the decadal data set of the Long-term Intersite Decomposition Experiment, in which fine litter and wood decomposition was studied in eight biome types (224 time series). In 32 and 46% of all sites the litter content of the acid-unhydrolyzable residue (AUR, formerly referred to as lignin) and the AUR/nitrogen ratio, respectively, retarded initial decomposition rates. This initial rate-retarding effect generally disappeared within the first year of decomposition, and rate-stimulating effects of nutrients and a rate-retarding effect of the carbon/nitrogen ratio became more prevalent. For needles and leaves/grasses, the influence of climate on decomposition decreased over time. For fine roots, the climatic influence was initially smaller but increased toward later-stage decomposition. The climate decomposition index was the strongest climatic predictor of decomposition. The similar variability in initial decomposition rates across litter categories as across biome types suggested that future changes in decomposition may be dominated by warming-induced changes in plant community composition. In general, the RC model parameters successfully predicted independent decomposition data for the different litter-biome combinations (196 time series). We argue that parameterization of large-scale decomposition models with RC model parameters, as opposed to the currently common discrete multiexponential models, could significantly improve their mechanistic foundation and predictive accuracy across climate zones and litter categories.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 120, no 7, 1196-1214 p.
Keyword [en]
climate, decomposition, exponential model, LIDET, litter chemistry, reactivity continuum model
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-262445DOI: 10.1002/2015JG002908ISI: 000359868200002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-262445DiVA: diva2:854018
Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning, 2009-1350-15339-81Swedish Research Council, 2011-3475-604 88773-67
Available from: 2015-09-15 Created: 2015-09-15 Last updated: 2015-09-15Bibliographically approved

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Köhler, BirgitTranvik, Lars J.
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