DBGPrints Repository
Publications of the German Soil Science Society

Analysis of litter decomposition and mesofauna activity in different California grasslands using a classical litterbag approach and a bait lamina system

Potthoff, Martin and Jackson, Louise and Stromberg, Mark and Jörgensen, Rainer Georg (2008) Analysis of litter decomposition and mesofauna activity in different California grasslands using a classical litterbag approach and a bait lamina system. In: Tagung: Bodenbiologische Indikatoren für eine nachhaltige Bodennutzung, 28.-29. Februar 2008, Osnabrück.

PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (68kB)


The dynamic of litter decomposition is essential for soil fertility and the establishment of certain plant communities. In California grassland the mediterranean climate limits the decomposition to a short period of time only. Moreover the quality of grass litter produced is poor. Three different types of grasslands were tested using litterbags and bail lamina for the mesofauna activity: (1) annual grassland, representing a mixture of mainly non-native annual grasses, (2) restored perennial grassland, former annual grassland now planted with native perennials; (3) relict perennial grassland, representing an undisturbed community of native perennial grasses. Moreover a bare soil control was included into the investigations. The slowest decomposition rates occurred when annual grassland litter was placed on the surface of tilled, bare soil. The highest rates were observed for the annual grassland. Restored and relict sites were quiet close indicating a relation between plant cover and decomposition rates of litter. The bail lamina test system showed that, after 70 days in the spring, slightly more activity occurred in the annual grassland (36% of bait used) vs. 28% in the relict and restored perennial grasslands. This activity is far lower than what is typical of mesic temperate forest or farmland soils in Europe. For all sites with perennial grasses a certain vertical and horizontal pattern was observed. Feeding activity of mesofauna decreased gradually with depth between 0 and 8 cm and the decrease was less pronounced when further away from the bunchgrass. More specific investigations on mesofauna in California grassland soils are needed to understand the functional impact of soil fauna in this semi arid climate.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: annual grassland, perennial grassland perinnial, restoration, carbon turnover, Kupfer, Humusform, Zersetzerrefugium, Ecotoxicology, copper, humus form, decomposer refuge
Divisions: Kommissionen > Kommission III: Bodenbiologie und Bodenökologie
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email dbg@dbges.de
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2009 16:35
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2015 16:22
URI: https://eprints.dbges.de/id/eprint/32

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item