Global-scale similiarities in nitrogen release patterns during long-term decomposition

TitleGlobal-scale similiarities in nitrogen release patterns during long-term decomposition
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsParton W, Silver WL, Burke IC, Grassens L, Harmon ME, Currie WS, King JY, E. Adair C, Brandt LA, Hart SC, Fasth B
Date Published2007
Accession NumberJRN00478
Call Number00893
Keywordsarticle, decomposition, leaf litter, decomposition, root, journal, LIDET, long-term decomposition, nitrogen

Litter decomposition provides the primary source of mineral nitrogen (N) for biological activity in most terrestrial ecosystems. A 10-year decomposition experiment in 21 sites from seven biomes found that net N release from leaf litter is dominantly driven by the initial tissue N concentration and mass remaining regardless of climate, edaphic conditions, or biota. Arid grasslands exposed to high ultraviolet radiation were an exception, where net N release was insensitive to initial N. Roots released N linearly with decomposition and exhibited little net N immobilization. We suggest that fundamental constraints on decomposer physiologies lead to predictable global-scale patterns in net N release during decomposition.

Reprint EditionIn File (2/15/2007)