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Deer slow down litter decomposition by reducing litter quality in a temperate forest use asterix (*) to get italics
Simon Chollet, Morgane Maillard, Juliane Schorghuber, Sue Grayston, Jean-Louis MartinPlease use the format "First name initials family name" as in "Marie S. Curie, Niels H. D. Bohr, Albert Einstein, John R. R. Tolkien, Donna T. Strickland"
<p>In temperate forest ecosystems, the role of deer in litter decomposition, a key nutrient cycling process, remains debated. Deer may modify the decomposition process by affecting plant cover and thus modifying litter abundance. They can also alter litter quality through differential browsing and affect decomposer ability by changing soil abiotic properties and the nature of decomposer communities. We used two litterbag experiments in a quasi-experimental situation resulting from the introduction of Sitka black-tailed deer Odocoileus odocoileus sitkensis on forested islands of Haida Gwaii (Canada). We investigated the effects of deer on decomposition through their impacts on litter quality and on decomposer ability. After one year, the effect of deer on litter quality resulted in a lower rate of mass loss in litter from litterbags. This mass loss mainly reflected a 21 and 38 % lower rate of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) loss, respectively. Presence of deer resulted in lower decomposer ability for the rate of carbon loss, but not for nitrogen loss. The level of C loss after one year was 5% higher for litter decomposing on an island without deer. But the change in the rate of carbon loss explained by the effect of deer on decomposer ability was outweighed by the effect deer had on litter quality. Additional effects of deer on the decomposition process through feces deposition were significant but minor. These results question the role the large increase in deer populations observed in temperate forests at continental scales may play in broad scale patterns of C and N cycling.</p> should fill this box only if you chose 'All or part of the results presented in this preprint are based on data'. URL must start with http:// or https://
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decomposition, deer, forests, functional traits, Home Field Advantage, litter diversity effects, macro and meso fauna, top-down control
NonePlease indicate the methods that may require specialised expertise during the peer review process (use a comma to separate various required expertises).
Community ecology, Ecosystem functioning, Herbivory, Soil ecology
No need for them to be recommenders of PCIEcology. Please do not suggest reviewers for whom there might be a conflict of interest. Reviewers are not allowed to review preprints written by close colleagues (with whom they have published in the last four years, with whom they have received joint funding in the last four years, or with whom they are currently writing a manuscript, or submitting a grant proposal), or by family members, friends, or anyone for whom bias might affect the nature of the review - see the code of conduct
e.g. John Doe []
2019-07-04 14:30:19
Sébastien Barot