The contribution of abiotic processes to buried litter decomposition in the northern Chihuahuan desert


Journal Article

Creosobebush (Larrea tridentata) fine litter was treated with either the general biocide HgCl 2 and CuSO 4 or water (controls) and buried 5 cm beneath the soil surface in the northern Chihuahuan Desert. The treated litter showed significantly less mass loss than controls during the three month summer-autumn field study; controls lost about 20% of the original mass while treated litter lost less than 2%. In addition, the total nitrogen content of the control litter increased from an initial concentration of about 14.08 g kg -1 to 17.62 g kg -1 dry weight by the end of the study, while treated litter nitrogen content decreased to 13.30 g kg -1 . Results suggest abiotic processes other than leaching have little effect on the decomposition of buried litter in this environment. © 1989 Springer-Verlag.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Moorhead, DL; Reynolds, JF

Published Date

  • April 1, 1989

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 79 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 133 - 135

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1432-1939

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0029-8549

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/BF00378250

Citation Source

  • Scopus