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The interaction between carbon and nitrogen during litter decomposition

Berglund, Linnea (2012). The interaction between carbon and nitrogen during litter decomposition. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2012:92
ISBN 978-91-576-7739-6
[Doctoral thesis]

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Litter decomposition is essential for the cycling of elements in ecosystems. How carbon
(C) and nitrogen (N) interact during litter decomposition is, however, not yet fully
understood. This thesis studies litter decomposition with the aim of increasing our
understanding of the interactions between C and N. The areas in focus are litter
mixtures, mycorrhizal fungi, and various N:C ratios.

The decomposition rate of litter mixtures can differ from that expected on the basis
of the decomposition rate of the single components. This thesis shows that changed
decomposition rates in litter mixtures can be linked to a transfer of N between the

Besides the typical decomposers, the saprotrophs, also mycorrhizal fungi can
decompose organic matter. This thesis explores how mycorrhizal fungi interact with
their plant partner under different N availabilities to modify the C and N dynamics of
the plant and in the soil. The results indicate that in order to understand how
decomposition is influenced by a changing N availability, we need an increased
understanding of the decomposer ability of the mycorrhizal fungi and the plant–fungus
relation in mycorrhizal associations.

It is problematic to estimate the parameters describing the relation between C and N
during decomposition. This thesis shows that the key parameter to estimate is the
critical N:C ratio, i.e. the litter N:C ratio at which N immobilisation switches to

Authors/Creators:Berglund, Linnea
Title:The interaction between carbon and nitrogen during litter decomposition
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :2012
Number of Pages:55
I.Berglund SL, Ågren GI (2012). When will litter mixtures decompose faster or slower than individual litters? A model for two litters. Oikos 121(7), 1112-1120.
II.Berglund SL, Ågren GI, Ekblad A (in press). Carbon and nitrogen transfer in leaf litter mixtures. Soil Biology & Biochemistry, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2012.09.015.
III.Berglund SL, Lindahl BD, Clemmensen KE, Ågren GI. Modelling optimal plant growth: Mycorrhizal versus saprotrophic nitrogen mobilisation (manuscript).
IV.Ågren GI, Hyvönen R, Berglund SL. The critical N:C ratio as a predictor of litter decomposition and soil organic matter stoichiometry (manuscript).
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Institutionen för ekologi, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-7739-6
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:P Natural resources > P34 Soil biology
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Agrovoc terms:carbon, nitrogen, soil, soil organic matter, plant litter, quality, degradation, soil microorganisms, mycorrhizae, fungi
Keywords:kol, kväve, förnanedbrytning, förnablandningar, förnakvalitet, kolöverföring, kväveöverföring, mykorrhizasvampar, kväve-kol-kvot, kritisk kväve-kol-kvot
Permanent URL:
ID Code:9210
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
External funders:Swedish Research Council
Deposited By: Linnea Berglund
Deposited On:05 Nov 2012 07:45
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:53

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