Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1016/j.soilbio.2021.108522
Title (Primary) Nitrogen deposition stimulates decomposition via changes in the structure and function of litter food webs
Author Yin, R.; Liu, Q.; Tian, S.; Potapov, A.; Zhu, B.; Yang, K.; Li, Z.; Zhuang, L.; Tan, B.; Zhang, L.; Xu, Z.; Kardol, P.; Schädler, M.; Eisenhauer, N.
Source Titel Soil Biology & Biochemistry
Year 2022
Department BZF; iDiv
Volume 166
Page From art. 108522
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Keywords Biodiversity; Ecosystem function; Fauna feeding guild; Litter mass loss; Nitrogen addition; Subtropical forest
Abstract Nitrogen (N) deposition poses a threat to terrestrial biodiversity and ecosystem functioning globally. However, little is known concerning how the structure and function of litter fauna communities will respond in this context. Here, a gradient of N deposition (0, 20, and 40 kg N ha−1 yr−1) was simulated in a subtropical forest of southwestern China, to assess the potential effects of increased N deposition on the trophic structure and functioning of fauna communities in decomposing leaf litters of three main subtropical plant functional groups covering a total of 18 species: six evergreen broadleaf, six deciduous broadleaf, and six coniferous trees. We found that N addition shifted the trophic structure of fauna communities in decomposing litter, and different fauna feeding guilds showed distinct response patterns. Specifically, N addition increased the abundance of predators, decreased the abundance of omnivores, while detritivores were less affected. Compared to deciduous broadleaf and coniferous litters, evergreen broadleaf litter had less complex structure of fauna communities, but it decomposed slower. Further, structural equation modeling (SEM) showed that N addition increased litter decomposition in part via changing the trophic structure of fauna communities, with a positive correlation between predators and detritivores being associated with higher decomposition. As omnivores often exhibit top-down pressure on all other trophic guilds in (sub-)tropics, our observed shifts in trophic structure and litter decomposition might be partly due to the N addition-induced declines in omnivorous ant population. Future studies should investigate the role of bottom-up and top-down forces between detritivores, predators, and omnivores in driving litter decomposition. Taken together, our findings suggest that (i) N deposition consistently shifts the trophic structure of fauna communities across litter types, and (ii) such a shift further translate into changes in the functioning of subtropical forest ecosystems.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Yin, R., Liu, Q., Tian, S., Potapov, A., Zhu, B., Yang, K., Li, Z., Zhuang, L., Tan, B., Zhang, L., Xu, Z., Kardol, P., Schädler, M., Eisenhauer, N. (2022):
Nitrogen deposition stimulates decomposition via changes in the structure and function of litter food webs
Soil Biol. Biochem. 166 , art. 108522 10.1016/j.soilbio.2021.108522