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Data from: Leaf litter decomposition in tropical freshwater swamp forests is slower in swamp than non-swamp conditions

Data from: Leaf litter decomposition in tropical freshwater swamp forests is slower in swamp than non-swamp conditions
Data from: Leaf litter decomposition in tropical freshwater swamp forests is slower in swamp than non-swamp conditions
Decomposition is a key ecosystem function, and the rate of decomposition in forests affects their carbon storage potentials. Processes and factors determining leaf litter decomposition rates in dry-land and temperate forests are well understood, but these are generally poorly studied in tropical wetland forests, especially freshwater swamp forests (FSF). The home-field advantage (HFA) hypothesis predicts that soil microbes specialize in decomposing leaf litter produced by the tree species in their immediate vicinity. However, empirical support for the HFA is equivocal, and the HFA has never been tested in the highly heterogeneous and biodiverse ecosystems of tropical FSFs. We collected leaf litter from swamp and non-swamp tree species in a tropical FSF in Singapore and monitored the decomposition rates of these in swamp and non-swamp plots for a period of eight months. Leaf litter decomposed 3.7 times more slowly in swamp plots. Leaf litter from swamp tree species were significantly poorer in quality (higher C:N ratio) than those of non-swamp FSF tree species, but this had only a weak effect on decomposition rates. There was also only weak evidence for the HFA and only in non-swamp conditions. Our results show that while the leaf litter of tropical FSF swamp and non-swamp tree species differ significantly in chemical traits, litter decomposition rate is ultimately determined by local abiotic conditions, such as hydrology. Additionally, the high FSF tree diversity may prevent decomposer communities from specializing on any group of leaf litter types and thus limit the extent of HFA observed in such heterogeneous forests.
DRYAD
Lam, Weng Ngai
05561d89-5ebf-48d9-a992-833b5807271a
Lian, Jun Jie
ff562a42-380a-497c-ba17-a9a7b87531f3
Chan, Pin Jia
2bf95a0b-670e-479e-8814-dd09ac1c67d1
Ting, Ying Ying
Chong, Rie
3d9a5661-e9db-480b-9feb-795757fe34b6
Rahman, Nur Estya
627ec234-281d-4446-8c97-2ddea29a2ab4
Tan, Lorraine
844eb617-d977-41c9-a099-ae90de474175
Ho, Qian Yi
db4c640a-78d1-4070-a4fb-457cbe4eb16e
Ramchunder, Sorain
f2a00712-7321-4c92-b603-2450db313a17
Peh, Kelvin
0bd60207-dad8-43fb-a84a-a15e09b024cc
Cai, Yixiong
06189b88-1497-4452-87a0-b25b30d69e64
Chong, Kwek Yan
4dddf80d-00e8-48af-8132-b4c3d15d34e3
Lam, Weng Ngai
05561d89-5ebf-48d9-a992-833b5807271a
Lian, Jun Jie
ff562a42-380a-497c-ba17-a9a7b87531f3
Chan, Pin Jia
2bf95a0b-670e-479e-8814-dd09ac1c67d1
Ting, Ying Ying
Chong, Rie
3d9a5661-e9db-480b-9feb-795757fe34b6
Rahman, Nur Estya
627ec234-281d-4446-8c97-2ddea29a2ab4
Tan, Lorraine
844eb617-d977-41c9-a099-ae90de474175
Ho, Qian Yi
db4c640a-78d1-4070-a4fb-457cbe4eb16e
Ramchunder, Sorain
f2a00712-7321-4c92-b603-2450db313a17
Peh, Kelvin
0bd60207-dad8-43fb-a84a-a15e09b024cc
Cai, Yixiong
06189b88-1497-4452-87a0-b25b30d69e64
Chong, Kwek Yan
4dddf80d-00e8-48af-8132-b4c3d15d34e3

Lam, Weng Ngai, Lian, Jun Jie, Chan, Pin Jia, Chong, Rie, Rahman, Nur Estya, Tan, Lorraine, Ho, Qian Yi, Ramchunder, Sorain, Cai, Yixiong and Chong, Kwek Yan (2020) Data from: Leaf litter decomposition in tropical freshwater swamp forests is slower in swamp than non-swamp conditions. DRYAD doi:10.5061/dryad.hhmgqnkfr [Dataset]

Record type: Dataset

Abstract

Decomposition is a key ecosystem function, and the rate of decomposition in forests affects their carbon storage potentials. Processes and factors determining leaf litter decomposition rates in dry-land and temperate forests are well understood, but these are generally poorly studied in tropical wetland forests, especially freshwater swamp forests (FSF). The home-field advantage (HFA) hypothesis predicts that soil microbes specialize in decomposing leaf litter produced by the tree species in their immediate vicinity. However, empirical support for the HFA is equivocal, and the HFA has never been tested in the highly heterogeneous and biodiverse ecosystems of tropical FSFs. We collected leaf litter from swamp and non-swamp tree species in a tropical FSF in Singapore and monitored the decomposition rates of these in swamp and non-swamp plots for a period of eight months. Leaf litter decomposed 3.7 times more slowly in swamp plots. Leaf litter from swamp tree species were significantly poorer in quality (higher C:N ratio) than those of non-swamp FSF tree species, but this had only a weak effect on decomposition rates. There was also only weak evidence for the HFA and only in non-swamp conditions. Our results show that while the leaf litter of tropical FSF swamp and non-swamp tree species differ significantly in chemical traits, litter decomposition rate is ultimately determined by local abiotic conditions, such as hydrology. Additionally, the high FSF tree diversity may prevent decomposer communities from specializing on any group of leaf litter types and thus limit the extent of HFA observed in such heterogeneous forests.

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More information

Published date: 1 January 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 448683
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/448683
PURE UUID: 20f56b1c-26b7-4ae0-8c4f-38cd541f4c10
ORCID for Kelvin Peh: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2921-1341

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 29 Apr 2021 16:32
Last modified: 30 Apr 2021 01:44

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Contributors

Creator: Weng Ngai Lam
Creator: Jun Jie Lian
Creator: Pin Jia Chan
Contributor: Ying Ying Ting
Creator: Rie Chong
Creator: Nur Estya Rahman
Creator: Lorraine Tan
Creator: Qian Yi Ho
Creator: Sorain Ramchunder
Contributor: Kelvin Peh ORCID iD
Creator: Yixiong Cai
Creator: Kwek Yan Chong

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