Biology Bulletin Reviews

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 1–16 | Cite as

A field study of tundra plant litter decomposition rate via mass loss and carbon dioxide emission: The role of biotic and abiotic controls, biotope, season of year, and spatial-temporal scale

  • A. V. Pochikalov
  • D. V. Karelin


Although many recently published original papers and reviews deal with plant matter decomposition rates and their controls, we are still very limited in our understanding of these processes in boreal and high latitude plant communities, especially in the permafrost areas of our planet. First and foremost, this is holds true for winter periods. Here, we present the results of two years of field observations in the southern taiga and southern shrub tundra ecosystems in European Russia. We pioneered the simultaneous application of two independent methods: classic mass loss estimation by the litter-bag technique and direct measurement of CO2 emission (respiration) of the same litter bags with different types of dead plant matter. Such an approach allows us to reconstruct the intraseasonal dynamics of the decomposition rates of the main tundra litter fractions with high temporal resolution, to estimate the partial role of different seasons and fragmentation in the process of plant matter decomposition, and to determine its factors under a different temporal scale.


Decomposition Rate Litter Decomposition Plant Litter Biology Bulletin Review Southern Taiga 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center on Problems of Ecology and Productivity of ForestsRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Faculty of Biology, Department of General EcologyMoscow State UniversityMoscowRussia

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