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litter decomposition


Bradford et al. 2014. Ecosystem multifunctionality and soil community complexity. PNAS 111:14478-14483

Bradford et al. 2014. Discontinuity in the responses of ecosystem processes and multifunctionality to altered soil community composition. PNAS 111:14478-14483

http://www.pnas.org/content/111/40/14478.abstract

Significance

Ashley Keiser

I am a Postdoctoral Fellow associated with the Hofmockel lab. I am an ecologist working at the interface of above- and below-ground communities. My interests include ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry, climate change, and invasive species. Through my research program, I examine local, mechanism-driven questions, which have advanced ecological theory regarding microbial community function, and landscape-level biogeochemical inquiries that relate to land management.

Litter quality and environmental controls of home-field advantage effects on litter decomposition

The ‘home-field advantage (HFA) hypothesis’ predicts that plant litter is decomposed faster than expected in the vicinity of the plant where it originates from (i.e. its ‘home’) relative to some other location (i.e. ‘away’) because of the presence of specialized decomposers. Despite growing evidence for the widespread occurrence HFA effects, what drives HFA is not understood as its strength appears highly variable and context-dependent. Our work advances current knowledge about HFA effects by testing under what conditions HFA is most important.

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