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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Latitude dictates plant diversity effects on instream decomposition

Boyero, Luz; Perez, Javier; Lopez-Rojo, Naiara; Tonin, Alan M.; Correa-Araneda, Francisco; Pearson, Richard G.; Bosch, Jaime; Albarino, Ricardo J.; Anbalagan, Sankarappan; Barmuta, Leon A.; Beesley, Leah; Burdon, Francis J.; Caliman, Adriano; Callisto, Marcos; Campbell, Ian C.; Cardinale, Bradley J.; Jesus Casas, J.; Chara-Serna, Ana M.; Ciapala, Szymon; Chauvet, Eric;
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Running waters contribute substantially to global carbon fluxes through decomposition of terrestrial plant litter by aquatic microorganisms and detritivores. Diversity of this litter may influence instream decomposition globally in ways that are not yet understood. We investigated latitudinal differences in decomposition of litter mixtures of low and high functional diversity in 40 streams on 6 continents and spanning 113 degrees of latitude. Despite important variability in our dataset, we found latitudinal differences in the effect of litter functional diversity on decomposition, which we explained as evolutionary adaptations of litter-consuming detritivores to resource availability. Specifically, a balanced diet effect appears to operate at lower latitudes versus a resource concentration effect at higher latitudes. The latitudinal pattern indicates that loss of plant functional diversity will have different consequences on carbon fluxes across the globe, with greater repercussions likely at low latitudes.

Published in

Science Advances
2021, volume: 7, number: 13, article number: eabe7860

Authors' information

Boyero, Luz
University of Basque Country
Perez, Javier
University of Basque Country
Lopez-Rojo, Naiara
University of Basque Country
Tonin, Alan M.
Universidad Autonoma de Chile
Correa-Araneda, Francisco
James Cook University
Pearson, Richard G.
James Cook University
Bosch, Jaime
CSIC - Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (MNCN)
Albarino, Ricardo J.
Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas (CONICET)
Bosch, Jaime
Universidad Nacional del Comahue
Anbalagan, Sankarappan
University of Tasmania
Barmuta, Leon A.
University of Western Australia
Beesley, Leah
University of Western Australia
Burdon, Francis
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Caliman, Adriano
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
Callisto, Marcos
Rhithroecol Pty Ltd
Campbell, Ian C.
Pennsylvania State University
Cardinale, Bradley J.
Universidad de Almeria
Jesus Casas, J.
Ctr Invest Sistemas Sostenibles Prod Agr CIPAV
Chara-Serna, Ana M.
Univ Illinois
Ciapala, Szymon
Universite Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier
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UKÄ Subject classification

Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources

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