Methods to Study Litter Decomposition

A Practical Guide

  • Manuel A.S. Graça
  • Felix Bärlocher
  • Mark O. Gessner

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Litter Dynamics

    1. Arturo Elosegi, Jesús Pozo
      Pages 3-11
    2. Arturo Elosegi
      Pages 13-18
    3. Michael Dobson
      Pages 19-24
    4. Jesús Pozo, Arturo Elosegi
      Pages 25-31
    5. Felix Bärlocher
      Pages 33-36
  3. Leaf Chemical And Physical Properties

    1. Mogens R. Flindt, Ana I. Lillebø
      Pages 53-59
    2. Mark O. Baerlocher
      Pages 61-67
    3. Shawn D. Mansfield, Mark O. Baerlocher
      Pages 69-74
    4. Shawn D. Mansfield
      Pages 75-83
    5. Shawn D. Mansfield, Felix Bärlocher
      Pages 85-90
    6. Mark O. Gessner, Paul T.M. Neumann
      Pages 91-95
    7. Felix Bärlocher, Manuel A.S. Graça
      Pages 97-100
    8. Manuel A.S. Graça, Felix Bärlocher
      Pages 101-105
    9. Mark O. Gessner, Daniel Steiner
      Pages 107-114
    10. Mark O. Gessner
      Pages 115-120
    11. Manuel A.S. Graça, Martin Zimmer
      Pages 121-125
  4. Microbial Decomposers

    1. Enrique Descals
      Pages 129-141

About this book


Decomposition of organic matter is a major ecosystem process involving an array of different organisms, including bacteria, fungi and invertebrates. The main objective of this book is to provide students and laboratory instructors at universities and professional ecologists with a broad range of established methods to study plant litter decomposition. Detailed protocols for direct use in the field or laboratory are presented in an easy to follow step-by-step format. A short introduction to each protocol reviews the ecological significance and principles of the technique and points to key references. Although most methods are described for freshwater ecosystems, many will work equally well in the presented or slightly modified form for studies in marine and terrestrial environments.


Biodiversity Chemical and physical properties Enzymatic analysis Forests Litter decomposition ecosystem ecosystems environment

Editors and affiliations

  • Manuel A.S. Graça
    • 1
  • Felix Bärlocher
    • 2
  • Mark O. Gessner
    • 3
  1. 1.University of CoimbraPortugal
  2. 2.Mount Allison UniversityCanada
  3. 3.Limnological Research CenterSwitzerland

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer 2005
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Biomedical and Life Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4020-3348-3
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4020-3466-4
  • About this book