Weak interactions between strong interactors in an old-field ecosystem: Control of nitrogen cycling by coupled herbivores and detritivores

Robert Buchkowski & Oswald Schmitz
Interactions between herbivores and detritivores are common in greenhouse and laboratory experiments. Such interactions are thought to cause feedbacks in real ecosystems where the combined actions of these animals create either high or low nutrient cycling rates. There is limited evidence from factorial field experiments to support these expectations. We present the results of a three-year experiment wherein we factorially manipulated grasshopper herbivores and earthworm detritivores in an old-field ecosystem and tested for significant interaction...
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