Arthropod diversity and nutrient mineralization in green litter decomposition in a simulated hurricane experiment

TitleArthropod diversity and nutrient mineralization in green litter decomposition in a simulated hurricane experiment
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsMoreno-Rosado, I, Barberena-Arias, MF, Cantrell, SA, Gonzalez, G
Conference NameIX Congreso de Biodiversidad Caribeña February 2017
Pagination175-176
PublisherLa Escuela de Biología de la Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD)
Conference LocationSanto Domingo, RD
Accession NumberLUQ.1372
Other Numbers1372
AbstractHurricanes generate disturbances in forests such as canopy opening, fallen trees and leaves which alter physicochemical characteristics of the habitat. Litter decomposition depends primarily on the interaction among climate, litter quality and biota, as a consequence any change in habitats will result in changes in these factors. Our objective is to evaluate the effects of hurricane driven changes to forests on green litter decomposition, decomposer communities and nutrient ineralization. For this study, three blocks were selected, each with two plots of 20m x 20m, one plot was used for control and the other Canopy opening (Trim). In each subplot, litterbags with different mesh sizes were placed. Each of these litterbags were used as the sampling unit. In each one, decomposer fauna and nutrients were measured, and the weight of green litter from the litterbags was used for measure mass loss through time. Preliminary results suggest significant differences in abundance of decomposer fauna and in available nutrient concentration between trim and control plots, and among litterbags. For example, nitrogen and phosphorous were significantly higher in trim plots and in large mesh litterbags. Also, decomposer arthropod abundance was higher in large mesh litterbags. These results suggest that when all decomposer arthropods are present, available nutrients are higher. These results will be further analyzed, and interpreted in the context of food web dynamics.
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