In natural conditions, litters shed from different species become mixed with each other, and decompose together. Most studies deal with decomposition of individual species; few studies investigate the influence of litter mixing on decomposition and nutrient dynamics; the results are contradictory as positive, negative, or no effect, of litter mixing have been observed. In this study we test the hypothesis: i) that litter mixing in the Mediterranean maquis, a nutrient poor, high diversity ecosystem, produces non-additive effects on nutrient dynamics; ii) that the effects vary with the composition in species of the mixture and with the relative amount of the species component the mixture. Two types of 3-species mixtures were set up; one contained three sclerophylls, Phillyrea angustifolia, Pistacia lentiscus and Quercus ilex; the other contained the first two species with the mesophyll Cistus. Litterbags, containing monospecific litters and even and uneven mixtures, were incubated under natural condition in situ; even mixtures had the 3 species in equal proportion, whereas uneven mixtures had one of the species as dominant (50%) and the other two species in equal proportion (25%:25%). Litterbags were retrieved after 92, 188 and 403 days; litters from the mixtures were separately analyzed for mass loss and content of nitrogen (N), potassium (K), sodium (Na), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), copper (Cu), and zinc (Zn). Results indicate that mixing influences the dynamics of N, Mn, Ca, Mg, Fe, Cu and Zn, but scarcely affects the dynamics of K and Na. The comparison of observed to expected values for changes of nutrients in litterbags indicates the occurrence of non-additive effects of litter mixing on movements of N, Fe, Cu, and Zn to or from the litterbags containing the mixtures. The effects depend on the composition in species of the mixture, whereas the relative amount of the species component the mixture is not relevant.

Nutrient dynamics in litter mixtures of four Mediterranean maquis species decomposing in situ / Maisto, Giulia; DE MARCO, Anna; Meola, A.; Sessa, Ludovica; Virzo De Santo, A.. - In: SOIL BIOLOGY & BIOCHEMISTRY. - ISSN 0038-0717. - 43:(2011), pp. 520-530. [10.1016/j.soilbio.2010.11.017]

Nutrient dynamics in litter mixtures of four Mediterranean maquis species decomposing in situ

MAISTO, GIULIA;DE MARCO, ANNA;SESSA, LUDOVICA;
2011

Abstract

In natural conditions, litters shed from different species become mixed with each other, and decompose together. Most studies deal with decomposition of individual species; few studies investigate the influence of litter mixing on decomposition and nutrient dynamics; the results are contradictory as positive, negative, or no effect, of litter mixing have been observed. In this study we test the hypothesis: i) that litter mixing in the Mediterranean maquis, a nutrient poor, high diversity ecosystem, produces non-additive effects on nutrient dynamics; ii) that the effects vary with the composition in species of the mixture and with the relative amount of the species component the mixture. Two types of 3-species mixtures were set up; one contained three sclerophylls, Phillyrea angustifolia, Pistacia lentiscus and Quercus ilex; the other contained the first two species with the mesophyll Cistus. Litterbags, containing monospecific litters and even and uneven mixtures, were incubated under natural condition in situ; even mixtures had the 3 species in equal proportion, whereas uneven mixtures had one of the species as dominant (50%) and the other two species in equal proportion (25%:25%). Litterbags were retrieved after 92, 188 and 403 days; litters from the mixtures were separately analyzed for mass loss and content of nitrogen (N), potassium (K), sodium (Na), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), copper (Cu), and zinc (Zn). Results indicate that mixing influences the dynamics of N, Mn, Ca, Mg, Fe, Cu and Zn, but scarcely affects the dynamics of K and Na. The comparison of observed to expected values for changes of nutrients in litterbags indicates the occurrence of non-additive effects of litter mixing on movements of N, Fe, Cu, and Zn to or from the litterbags containing the mixtures. The effects depend on the composition in species of the mixture, whereas the relative amount of the species component the mixture is not relevant.
2011
Nutrient dynamics in litter mixtures of four Mediterranean maquis species decomposing in situ / Maisto, Giulia; DE MARCO, Anna; Meola, A.; Sessa, Ludovica; Virzo De Santo, A.. - In: SOIL BIOLOGY & BIOCHEMISTRY. - ISSN 0038-0717. - 43:(2011), pp. 520-530. [10.1016/j.soilbio.2010.11.017]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/377729
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