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

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Creosobebush (Larrea tridentata) fine litter was treated with either the general biocide HgCl2 and CuSO4 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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Moorhead, DL; Reynolds, JF

Published Date

  • April 1989

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 79 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 133 - 135

PubMed ID

  • 28312823

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1432-1939

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0029-8549

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/bf00378250


  • eng