|Title||Decomposition rates of various quantities of buried litter in a desert|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1983|
|Authors||Urbaniak S, Whitford WG|
|Journal||The Southwestern Naturalist|
|Keywords||article, articles, decomposition, buried litter, decomposition,litter,Larrea, journal, journals, Larrea, decomposition, litter,Larrea decomposition|
Creosobebush (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 an initial concentration 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.