Interaction between litter quality and simulated water depth on decomposition of two emergent macrophytes

https://doi.org/10.4081/jlimnol.2015.1119

Authors

  • Yajun Xie The Chinese Academy of Sciences, China.
  • Yonghong Xie | yonghongxie@163.com The Chinese Academy of Sciences, China.
  • Cong Hu The Chinese Academy of Sciences - University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, China.
  • Xinsheng Chen The Chinese Academy of Sciences, China.
  • Feng Li The Chinese Academy of Sciences, China.

Abstract

Both water depth and litter quality are important factors influencing litter decomposition in wetlands, but the interactive role of these factors in regulating mass loss and nutrient dynamics is far from clear. The responses of mass loss and nutrient dynamics to simulated water depths and litter quality are investigated in leaves of Carex brevicuspis and leaves and stems of Miscanthus sacchariflorus from the Dongting Lake, China. Three litter types differing in litter quality were incubated for 210 days at three water depths (0 cm, 5 cm, and 80 cm, relative to the water surface) in a pond near the Dongting Lake. The litter mass remaining, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), organic carbon (organic C), cellulose, and lignin contents were analyzed during the controlled decomposition experiment. Moreover, water properties (temperature, dissolved oxygen content, and conductivity) and fungal biomass were also characterized. Initial N and P contents were highest in C. brevicuspis leaves, intermediate in M. sacchariflorus leaves and lowest in M. sacchariflorus stems, whereas the organic C, cellulose, and lignin contents exhibited an opposite trend. After a 210 days incubation, decomposition rate was highest in M. sacchariflorus leaves (0.0034–0.0090 g g-1 DW day-1, in exponential decay model), intermediate in C. brevicuspis leaves (0.0019–0.0041 g g-1 DW day-1), and lowest in M. sacchariflorus stems (0.0005–0.0011 g g-1DW day-1). Decomposition rate of C. brevicuspis leaves was highest at 5 cm water depth, intermediate at 80 cm, and lowest at 0 cm. Decomposition rate of M. sacchariflorus leaves was higher at 5 cm, and 80 cm than at 0 cm water depths. Water depth had no effect on decomposition of M. sacchariflorus stems. At the end of incubation, N and P mineralization was completely in leaf litters with increasing rates along with increasing water depth, while nutrients were accumulated in M. sacchariflorus stem. Organic C, cellulose, and lignin decayed quickly in both leaf litters compared to the stem litter. The fungal biomass was higher in leaf than in stem litters and changed as a response to water depth in both leaf litters rather than stem ones. These data indicate that submergence has no effect on the decomposition of refractory stem litter and shallower submergence stimulates degradation of the labile leaf litter.

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Published
2015-07-30
Info
Issue
Section
Original Articles
Supporting Agencies
National Key Technology R & D Program, National Basic Research Program of China, International Science & Technology Cooperation Program of China
Keywords:
Litter decomposition, water depth, Dongting Lake, wetland macrophytes, Carex brevicuspis, Miscanthus sacchariflorus.
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How to Cite
1.
Xie Y, Xie Y, Hu C, Chen X, Li F. Interaction between litter quality and simulated water depth on decomposition of two emergent macrophytes. J Limnol [Internet]. 2015 Jul. 30 [cited 2021 Jun. 24];75(1). Available from: https://www.jlimnol.it/index.php/jlimnol/article/view/jlimnol.2015.1119