|Title||The contribution of abiotic processes to buried litter decomposition in the northern Chihuahuan Desert|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1989|
|Authors||Moorhead DL, Reynolds J.F|
|Keywords||abiotic processes,decomposition, article, articles, biocide, HgCl2 and CaSO4, biocide,also SEE <PESTICIDE, HERBICIDE>, copper sulfate, decomposition, abiotic processes, decomposition, litter, journal, journals, Larrea,decomposition, litter,Larrea, mercuric chloride|
Creosotebush (Larrea tridentata) fine litter was treated with either the general biocide HgCl2 and CuSO4 or water (controls) and buried 5 cm beneath the soil surface in the northern Chihuahuan Desert. The treated litter showed significantly less mass loss than controls during the three month summer-autumn field study; controls lost about 20% of the original mass while treated litter lost less than 2%. In addition, the total nitrogen content of the control litter increased from and initial concentrations of about 14.08 g kg-1 to 17.62 g kg-1 dry weight by the end of the study, while treated litter nitrogen content decreased to 13.30 g kg-1. Results suggest abiotic processes other than leaching have little effect on the decomposition of buried litter in this environment.