Climate and litter quality differently modulate the effects of soil fauna on litter decomposition across biomes

Authors

  • Pablo García-Palacios,

    Corresponding authorCurrent affiliation:
    1. Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle & Evolutive, CEFE-CNRS, Montpellier, France
    • Department of Biology and Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA
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  • Fernando T. Maestre,

    1. Departamento de Biología y Geología, Área de Biodiversidad y Conservación, Escuela Superior de Ciencias Experimentales y Tecnología, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Móstoles, Spain
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  • Jens Kattge,

    1. Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany
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  • Diana H. Wall

    1. Department of Biology and Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA
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Errata

This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Corrigendum to García-Palacios et al. () Volume 16, Issue 11, 1418, Article first published online: 20 October 2013

Correspondence: E-mail pablogpom@yahoo.es

Abstract

Climate and litter quality have been identified as major drivers of litter decomposition at large spatial scales. However, the role played by soil fauna remains largely unknown, despite its importance for litter fragmentation and microbial activity. We synthesised litterbag studies to quantify the effect sizes of soil fauna on litter decomposition rates at the global and biome scales, and to assess how climate, litter quality and soil fauna interact to determine such rates. Soil fauna consistently enhanced litter decomposition at both global and biome scales (average increment ~ 27%). However, climate and litter quality differently modulated the effects of soil fauna on decomposition rates between biomes, from climate-driven biomes to those where climate effects were mediated by changes in litter quality. Our results advocate for the inclusion of biome-specific soil fauna effects on litter decomposition as a mean to reduce the unexplained variation in large-scale decomposition models.

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