Microbial and Faunal Interactions and Effects on Litter Nitrogen and Decomposition in Agroecosystems

  title={Microbial and Faunal Interactions and Effects on Litter Nitrogen and Decomposition in Agroecosystems},
  author={Michael H. Beare and Robert W. Parmelee and Paul F. Hendrix and Weixin Cheng and David C. Coleman and David A. Crossley},
  journal={Ecological Monographs},
We conducted field experiments to test the general hypothesis that the com- position of decomposer communities and their trophic interactions can influence patterns of plant litter decomposition and nitrogen dynamics in ecosystems. Conventional (CT) and no-tillage (NT) agroecosystems were used to test this idea because of their structural sim- plicity and known differences in their functional properties. Biocides were applied to ex- perimentally exclude bacteria, saprophytic fungi, and… 

Impact of faunal complexity on microbial biomass and N turnover in field mesocosms from a spruce forest soil

In a field study using soil mesocosms in an acid spruce forest soil we investigated the effects of mesofauna and macrofauna on microbial biomass, dissolved organic matter, and N cycling. Intact soil

Do soil organisms affect aboveground litter decomposition in the semiarid Patagonian steppe, Argentina?

Although soil fauna have been mentioned as a key control of litter decomposition in warm deserts, biogeographic legacies and temperature limitation may constrain the importance of these organisms in temperate aridlands, particularly in the southern hemisphere.

Dynamics and stratification of bacteria and fungi in the organic layers of a scots pine forest soil

The results indicate the existence of an environmental stress factor affecting the abundance of fungi in the second phase of decomposition and high atmospheric nitrogen deposition is discussed as a prime factor to explain low fungal biomass and the relatively short lengths of fungal hyphae in some of the forest soil layers under study.

Soil mesofauna dynamics, wheat residue decomposition and nitrogen mineralization in buried litterbags

The results indicate that the decomposition rate is predator controlled in buried litterbags, indicative of a sequence from bacterial to fungal dominated decomposition of the buried organic matter.

Biological, chemical and biochemical dynamics during litter decomposition at different depths in arable soil

A field study was conducted to elucidate interactions among soil fauna, plant litter, soil nutrients and biochemical activities during litter decomposition in tropical desert land. Faunal

Invasive Grass Alters Litter Decomposition by Influencing Macrodetritivores

Manipulation of macrodetritivores suggested that plant species composition—dominated in this study by Festuca arundinacea, an exotic, invasive grass, and Aster ericoides, a native forb—caused shifts in detrivore communities and/or feeding patterns that tended to increase litter mass loss.




The surface placement of straw in no-till agriculture allowed management of microclimate and microbial populations so that losses of soil organic matter and nutrients were minimized and the increase in the ratio of fungal to bacterial activity was reduced.

The Effects of Microarthropods on Litter Decomposition in a Chihuahuan Desert Ecosystem

It is hypothesized that microarthropods affect litter decomposition in deser ecosystems by inoculating litter with fungal spores, by grazing on fungi, and in a heretofore underscribed mode, by preying on free—living nematodes.

Carbon and Nitrogen Dynamics During the Decomposition of Litter and Roots of a Chihuahuan Desert Annual, Lepidium Lasiocarpum

Carbon and nitrogen dynamics were analyzed during the decomposition of litter and roots of the desert ephemeral pepperweed, indicating that mass loss was due primarily to litter removal by microarthropod activity and not to mineralization.

Decay Rates, Nitrogen Fluxes, and Decomposer Communiies of Single‐ and Mixed‐Species Foliar Litter

It is suggested that the deviation of observed N fluxes in mixed-species litterbags from those predicted using single- species litterbags are the result of differences in the decomposer community, such as lower microbial and microarthropod densities and higher nematode densities, resulting when litter of varied resource quality is mixed together.

Interactions of Bacteria, Fungi, and their Nematode Grazers: Effects on Nutrient Cycling and Plant Growth

The results support claims in the literature that microbial grazers may perform important regulatory functions at critical times in the growth of plants and support a conceptual model proposed in which microfloral grazers were considered as separate state variables.