Cross-System Comparisons of Detritus Food Webs
Detritus is a quantitatively important source of energy and carbon in most aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Despite the general importance of detritus-based food webs, much of the information underlying our current models of decomposition processes and detrital food webs has been derived from a fairly narrow range of ecosystems. For example, aquatic models are strongly influenced by the study of leaf litter decomposition in headwater streams or Spartina marshes. In addition, there have been few efforts to compare detritus food webs among different ecosystems.