A stronger coordination of litter decomposability between leaves and fine roots for woody species in a warmer region
There is a positive correlation between leaf and root decomposition across species, both in a warm-temperate forest in Japan, as well as globally.
Evaluating the effects of plant species traits on litter decomposition would increase our understanding of plant–soil feedbacks in forest ecosystems. Currently, an assessment of a possible coordination between leaf and root decomposition across different species is required. However, previous studies have generated conflicting results. We hypothesized that such inconsistencies may be attributed to differences in local climatic effects on the decomposition process. We focused on the linkages between leaf and fine-root decomposition of woody species in a warm-temperate forest, which have not been addressed in previous studies. We found a significant positive correlation between leaf and root decomposition, and this linkage may be attributed to a wider range of decomposition rates across the species in our study forest. Additionally, we combined our data with those of previous studies of woody species to infer a global linkage in the decomposition process between leaves and roots. We found a positive correlation in decomposition rates between leaves and roots at the global scale, as well as a relatively strong correlation in warmer regions. These results support the importance of litter quality on biogeochemical processes and suggest that synergetic interactions between climate and plant communities could be amplified in a warmer future.
KeywordsBiogeochemical cycles Climatic control Plant–soil feedback Warm-temperate forest
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