|Title||The effects of nitrogen, water and sulfur amendments on surface litter decomposition in the Chihuahuan Desert|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1987|
|Authors||MacKay WP, Fisher F.M, Silva S, Whitford WG|
|Journal||Journal of Arid Environments|
|Keywords||article, articles, Bouteloua, decomposition, litter, decomposition, nutrient effects, Erioneuron, Gnathamitermes, journal, journals, Larrea, litter decomposition, nitrogen amendment, sulfur amendment, termites, water amendment|
The effects of nitrogen, water and sulfur amendments on the decomposition rates of three types of surface litter in the northern Chihuahuan Desert were evaluated. The amendments had no effects on the decomposition rates of leaf litter from black grama (Bouteloua eriopoda) and creosotebush (Larrea tridentata). The rate of fluff grass (Erioneuron pulchellum) litter decomposition was increased by water and decreased by sulfur. Water affected fluff grass decomposition by increasing terminate (Gnathamitermes tubiformans) above-ground activity. Sulfur decreased termite activity. These data suggest that the decomposer microflora and microfauna of the northern Chihuahuan Desert are more limited by quantity of organic matter than by water and nitrogen. Hence they do not respond opportunistically to increased availability of such resources.