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Landscape Effects on Decomposition

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Document pages: 9 pages

Abstract: The average annual rainfall was close to the average for the Jornada Experimental Range basin (225 mm∙y−1). Decomposition of leaf litter bags on the soil surface was a function of the rainfall at the site and of soil texture. Sites with the highest splash erosion and infiltration (highest sand content) had the highest decomposition rates. There was no evidence that run-off, run-on processes had an effect on the decomposition of surface litter. Root decomposition was only different at one of the tarbush sites (p > 0.001) and that difference was primarily due to soil texture and spatial distribution of rainfall. High concentration of the clay-silt fraction resulted in differences in mass loss of surface litter at grassland, dry-lakes, and tarbush sites. One site at each of these was different from the other two sites because they are between 8 and 20 km from the other two sites.

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