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|Title:||Bryosphere loss impairs litter decomposition consistently across moss species, litter types, and micro-arthropod abundance||Authors:||Grau-Andrés, Roger
Wardle, David A.
|Keywords:||Science::Biological sciences||Issue Date:||2021||Source:||Grau-Andrés, R., Wardle, D. A. & Kardol, P. (2021). Bryosphere loss impairs litter decomposition consistently across moss species, litter types, and micro-arthropod abundance. Ecosystems. https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10021-021-00731-8||Journal:||Ecosystems||Abstract:||The bryosphere (that is, ground mosses and their associated biota) is a key driver of nutrient and carbon dynamics in many terrestrial ecosystems, in part because it regulates litter decomposition. However, we have a poor understanding of how litter decomposition responds to changes in the bryosphere, including changes in bryosphere cover, moss species, and bryosphere-associated biota. Specifically, the contribution of micro-arthropods to litter decomposition in the bryosphere is unclear. Here, we used a 16-month litterbag field experiment in two boreal forests to investigate bryosphere effects on litter decomposition rates among two moss species (Pleurozium schreberi and Hylocomium splendens), and two litter types (higher-quality Betula pendula litter and lower-quality P. schreberi litter). Additionally, we counted all micro-arthropods in the litterbags and identified them to functional groups. We found that bryosphere removal reduced litter decomposition rates by 28% and micro-arthropod abundance by 29% and led to a colder micro-climate. Litter decomposition rates and micro-arthropod abundance were uncorrelated overall, but were positively correlated in B. pendula litterbags. Bryosphere effects on litter decomposition rates were consistent across moss species, litter types, and micro-arthropod abundances and community compositions. These findings suggest that micro-arthropods play a minor role in litter decomposition in the boreal forest floor, suggesting that other factors (for example, micro-climate, nutrient availability) likely drive the positive effect of the bryosphere on decomposition rates. Our results point to a substantial and consistent impairment of litter decomposition in response to loss of moss cover, which could have important implications for nutrient and carbon cycling in moss-dominated ecosystems.||URI:||https://hdl.handle.net/10356/162788||ISSN:||1432-9840||DOI:||10.1007/s10021-021-00731-8||Rights:||© 2021 The Author(s). Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/li censes/by/4.0/.||Fulltext Permission:||open||Fulltext Availability:||With Fulltext|
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