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Diverse Effects of Climate, Land Use, and Insects on Dung and Carrion Decomposition

Title data

Englmeier, Jana ; Mitesser, Oliver ; Benbow, M. Eric ; Hothorn, Torsten ; von Hoermann, Christian ; Benjamin, Caryl ; Fricke, Ute ; Ganuza, Cristina ; Hänsel, Vera Maria ; Redlich, Sarah ; Riebl, Rebekka ; Rojas Botero, Sandra ; Rummler, Thomas ; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf ; Stengel, Elisa ; Tobisch, Cynthia ; Uhler, Johannes ; Uphus, Lars ; Zhang, Jie ; Müller, Jörg:
Diverse Effects of Climate, Land Use, and Insects on Dung and Carrion Decomposition.
In: Ecosystems. (26 April 2022) .
ISSN 1435-0629
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10021-022-00764-7

Abstract in another language

Land-use intensification and climate change threaten ecosystem functions. A fundamental, yet often overlooked, function is decomposition of necromass. The direct and indirect anthropogenic effects on decomposition, however, are poorly understood. We measured decomposition of two contrasting types of necromass, rat carrion and bison dung, on 179 study sites in Central Europe across an elevational climate gradient of 168–1122 m a.s.l. and within both local and regional land uses. Local land-use types included forest, grassland, arable fields, and settlements and were embedded in three regional land-use types (near-natural, agricultural, and urban). The effects of insects on decomposition were quantified by experimental exclusion, while controlling for removal by vertebrates. We used generalized additive mixed models to evaluate dung weight loss and carrion decay rate along elevation and across regional and local land-use types. We observed a unimodal relationship of dung decomposition with elevation, where greatest weight loss occurred between 600 and 700 m, but no effects of local temperature, land use, or insects. In contrast to dung, carrion decomposition was continuously faster with both increasing elevation and local temperature. Carrion reached the final decomposition stage six days earlier when insect access was allowed, and this did not depend on land-use effect. Our experiment identified different major drivers of decomposition on each necromass form. The results show that dung and carrion decomposition are rather robust to local and regional land use, but future climate change and decline of insects could alter decomposition processes and the self-regulation of ecosystems.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: decay; Ecosystem function; Global change; Land-use intensification; Necrobiome; Urbanization
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Professor Ecological Services > Professor Ecological Services - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Köllner
Profile Fields > Advanced Fields > Ecology and the Environmental Sciences
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science > 550 Earth sciences, geology
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2022 06:40
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 06:40
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/72514