Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Drought conditions alter litter decomposition and nutrient release of litter types in an agroforestry system of China

Citation

Xie, Tingitng; Shan, Lishan; Su, Peixi (2021), Drought conditions alter litter decomposition and nutrient release of litter types in an agroforestry system of China, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.931zcrjgd

Abstract

Evaluating how decomposition rates and litter nutrient release of different litter types respond to changes in water conditions is crucial for understanding global carbon and nutrient cycling. However, it is unclear how decreasing water affects litter mixture interactions for the maize–poplar system in arid regions. Here, the responses of the litter decomposition process and litter mixture interactions in the agroforestry system to changes in water conditions (control, light drought, and moderate drought) were tested. Moderate drought significantly decreased the decomposition rate for poplar leaf and mixed litters, and decomposition rate was significantly reduced for maize straw litter in light and moderate drought stress. The mass loss rates of maize straw and mixed litters were significantly higher than that of the poplar leaf litter under drought conditions, but there was no significant difference among the three litter types in the control. There was no interaction between mass loss of the mixed litter in the control and light drought conditions, and the litter mixture interaction showed non-additive synergistic interactions under moderate drought. In terms of nutrient release, there was also no interaction between litter mixture with nitrogen and carbon, but there was antagonistic interaction with potassium release under the light drought condition. Our results demonstrate that drought conditions can lead to decreasing decomposition rate and strong changes in the litter mixture interactions from additive effects to non-additive synergistic effects in moderate drought. Moreover, light drought changed the mixture interaction from an additive effect to an antagonistic interaction for potassium release.