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Riparian plant litter quality increases with latitude

Boyero, Luz and Graça, Manuel A. S. and Tonin, Alan M. and Pérez, Javier and J. Swafford, Andrew and Ferreira, Verónica and Landeira-Dabarca, Andrea and A. Alexandrou, Markos and Gessner, Mark O. and McKie, Brendan G. and Albariño, Ricardo J. and Barmuta, Leon A. and Callisto, Marcos and Chará, Julián and Chauvet, Éric and Colón-Gaud, Checo and Dudgeon, David and Encalada, Andrea C. and Figueroa, Ricardo and Flecker, Alexander S. and Fleituch, Tadeusz and Frainer, André and Gonçalves, José F. and Helson, Julie E. and Iwata, Tomoya and Mathooko, Jude and M’Erimba, Charles and Pringle, Catherine M. and Ramírez, Alonso and Swan, Christopher M. and Yule, Catherine M. and Pearson, Richard G. Riparian plant litter quality increases with latitude. (2017) Scientific Reports, 7 (1). 1-10. ISSN 2045-2322

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-10640-3

Abstract

Plant litter represents a major basal resource in streams, where its decomposition is partly regulated by litter traits. Litter-trait variation may determine the latitudinal gradient in decomposition in streams, which is mainly microbial in the tropics and detritivore-mediated at high latitudes. However, this hypothesis remains untested, as we lack information on large-scale trait variation for riparian litter. Variation cannot easily be inferred from existing leaf-trait databases, since nutrient resorption can cause traits of litter and green leaves to diverge. Here we present the first global-scale assessment of riparian litter quality by determining latitudinal variation (spanning 107°) in litter traits (nutrient concentrations; physical and chemical defences) of 151 species from 24 regions and their relationships with environmental factors and phylogeny. We hypothesized that litter quality would increase with latitude (despite variation within regions) and traits would be correlated to produce ‘syndromes’ resulting from phylogeny and environmental variation. We found lower litter quality and higher nitrogen:phosphorus ratios in the tropics. Traits were linked but showed no phylogenetic signal, suggesting that syndromes were environmentally determined. Poorer litter quality and greater phosphorus limitation towards the equator may restrict detritivore-mediated decomposition, contributing to the predominance of microbial decomposers in tropical streams.

Item Type:Article
HAL Id:hal-02134621
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Other partners > Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas - CSIC (SPAIN)
Other partners > Universidade de Coimbra (PORTUGAL)
Other partners > Cornell University (USA)
Other partners > University of Hong Kong - HKU (CHINA)
Other partners > IKERBASQUE (SPAIN)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - INPT (FRANCE)
Other partners > James Cook University - JCU (AUSTRALIA)
Other partners > Monash University (MALAYSIA)
Other partners > Polish Academy of Sciences (POLAND)
Other partners > Technische Universität Berlin - TU Berlin (GERMANY)
Other partners > Universidad de Concepción - UDEC (CHILE)
Other partners > Umea University (SWEDEN)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UPS (FRANCE)
Other partners > Universidad del País Vasco - Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea - EHU (SPAIN)
Other partners > University of Maryland (USA)
Other partners > University of Toronto (CANADA)
Other partners > University of Yamanashi (JAPAN)
Other partners > Centro para la investigaciòn en Sistemas Sostenibles de producciòn agropecuaria - CIPAV (COLOMBIA)
Other partners > Egerton university (KENYA)
Other partners > Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries - IGB (GERMANY)
Other partners > Universidade de Brasília - UnB (BRAZIL)
Other partners > Universitetet i Tromsø – Norges arktiske universitet - UiT (NORWAY)
Other partners > Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais - UFMG (BRAZIL)
Other partners > University of Georgia - UGA (USA)
Other partners > Universidad Nacional del Comahue (ARGENTINA)
Other partners > Universidad de Puerto Rico - UPR (PUERTO RICO)
Other partners > Universidad San Francisco de Quito - USFQ (ECUADOR)
Other partners > University of Tasmania (AUSTRALIA)
Other partners > University of California - UC Santa Barbara (USA)
Laboratory name:
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Deposited By: Eric Chauvet
Deposited On:02 Jul 2018 12:30

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