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Riparian plant litter quality increases with latitude
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2017 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 7, article id 10562Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Plant litter represents a major basal resource in streams, where its decomposition is partly regulated by litter traits. Litter-trait variation may determine the latitudinal gradient in decomposition in streams, which is mainly microbial in the tropics and detritivore-mediated at high latitudes. However, this hypothesis remains untested, as we lack information on large-scale trait variation for riparian litter. Variation cannot easily be inferred from existing leaf-trait databases, since nutrient resorption can cause traits of litter and green leaves to diverge. Here we present the first global-scale assessment of riparian litter quality by determining latitudinal variation (spanning 107 degrees) in litter traits (nutrient concentrations; physical and chemical defences) of 151 species from 24 regions and their relationships with environmental factors and phylogeny. We hypothesized that litter quality would increase with latitude (despite variation within regions) and traits would be correlated to produce 'syndromes' resulting from phylogeny and environmental variation. We found lower litter quality and higher nitrogen: phosphorus ratios in the tropics. Traits were linked but showed no phylogenetic signal, suggesting that syndromes were environmentally determined. Poorer litter quality and greater phosphorus limitation towards the equator may restrict detritivore-mediated decomposition, contributing to the predominance of microbial decomposers in tropical streams.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nature Publishing Group, 2017. Vol. 7, article id 10562
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Ecology
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URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-139792DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-10640-3ISI: 000409309300150OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-139792DiVA, id: diva2:1145393
Available from: 2017-09-28 Created: 2017-09-28 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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Frainer, André

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
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