The role of microarthropods and nematodes in litter decomposition in a Chihuahuan desert ecosystem

TitleThe role of microarthropods and nematodes in litter decomposition in a Chihuahuan desert ecosystem
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication1979
AuthorsSantos PFernando D
Number of Pages82
Date Published1979
UniversityNew Mexico State University
CityLas Cruces, New Mexico
Thesis TypePh.D. Dissertationpp
Call Number00278
Keywordsarthropod, SEE <MICROARTHROPOD>, decomposition,microarthropods, decomposition,nematodes, dissertation, dissertations, fungicide, insect, SEE <MICROARTHROPOD>, insecticide, Chlordane, litter decomposition, microarthropod,litter decomposition, nematicide, SEE <PESTICIDE>, nematode,litter decomposition, soil, microarthropods, theses, thesis
AbstractChanges in the decomposer communities were monitored in early stages of decomposition of buried creosotebush litter (leaves and small stems) confined in fiberglass mesh bags. Selected inhibitors (fungicides, an insecticide and nematicide) were used to disrupt the natural equilibria of the bacteria-nematode-mite litter community in order to examine the effects of removal of parts of that community in order to examine the effects of removal of parts of that community on decomposition processes. The role of microarthropods as predators regulating decomposition has not previously been described. The probable effect of microarthropods in late stages of mixed litter decomposition is to control the microbial populations directly (by grazing on fungi and dispersing microorganisms) and indirectly (by preying on microbivorous nematodes).