Aims Data about woody debris (WD) decomposition are very scarce for the Mediterranean basin. The specific aim of this work is to explore the relationships between WD traits with the decay rate.Methods We carried out a three-year litterbag decomposition experiment using ten WD types incubated in two plant communities (i.e. shrubland and woodland) and in laboratory conditions. WD was characterized for 31 chemical and anatomical traits, including macro- and micronutrients, lignin, and cellulose as well as organic chemistry by Solid-state Cross-Polarization Magic Angle Spinning Carbon-13 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (C-13 CPMAS NMR) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy/ Attenuated Total Reflection (FT-IR/ATR spectroscopy).Results WD decay rate was negatively associated with di-O-alkyl, lignin/N and C/N ratios, but positively with N concentration. Less consistent but positive correlations were recored for K, Mn, and Na concentration. The alkyl C and carboxylic C regions, associated with aliphatic and amide compounds, was positively correlated with WD decomposition. Conversely, di-O-alkyl C and O-alkyl C fractions, largely associated with cellulose and hemicellulose, were negatively correlated with WD decay rate. Finally, the positive correlation between Na concentration and WD mass loss in field conditions suggest a role of this neglected micronutrient for wood decomposition. WD specific density and anatomical features, have a minor capability to explain decomposition rate.Conclusions Our findings demonstrate a major role of WD chemical traits in explaining the variability of decomposition in Mediterranean ecosystems.

Decomposition of woody debris in Mediterranean ecosystems: the role of wood chemical and anatomical traits

D'Ascoli, R;
2021

Abstract

Aims Data about woody debris (WD) decomposition are very scarce for the Mediterranean basin. The specific aim of this work is to explore the relationships between WD traits with the decay rate.Methods We carried out a three-year litterbag decomposition experiment using ten WD types incubated in two plant communities (i.e. shrubland and woodland) and in laboratory conditions. WD was characterized for 31 chemical and anatomical traits, including macro- and micronutrients, lignin, and cellulose as well as organic chemistry by Solid-state Cross-Polarization Magic Angle Spinning Carbon-13 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (C-13 CPMAS NMR) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy/ Attenuated Total Reflection (FT-IR/ATR spectroscopy).Results WD decay rate was negatively associated with di-O-alkyl, lignin/N and C/N ratios, but positively with N concentration. Less consistent but positive correlations were recored for K, Mn, and Na concentration. The alkyl C and carboxylic C regions, associated with aliphatic and amide compounds, was positively correlated with WD decomposition. Conversely, di-O-alkyl C and O-alkyl C fractions, largely associated with cellulose and hemicellulose, were negatively correlated with WD decay rate. Finally, the positive correlation between Na concentration and WD mass loss in field conditions suggest a role of this neglected micronutrient for wood decomposition. WD specific density and anatomical features, have a minor capability to explain decomposition rate.Conclusions Our findings demonstrate a major role of WD chemical traits in explaining the variability of decomposition in Mediterranean ecosystems.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11591/457054
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