Links between plant litter chemistry, species diversity, and below-ground ecosystem function.

@article{Meier2008LinksBP,
  title={Links between plant litter chemistry, species diversity, and below-ground ecosystem function.},
  author={Courtney L. Meier and William D Bowman},
  journal={Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
  year={2008},
  volume={105 50},
  pages={19780-5}
}
Decomposition is a critical source of plant nutrients, and drives the largest flux of terrestrial C to the atmosphere. Decomposing soil organic matter typically contains litter from multiple plant species, yet we lack a mechanistic understanding of how species diversity influences decomposition processes. Here, we show that soil C and N cycling during decomposition are controlled by the composition and diversity of chemical compounds within plant litter mixtures, rather than by simple metrics… CONTINUE READING

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