Litter decomposition rates across tropical montane and lowland forests are controlled foremost by climate

Rebecca Ostertag, Carla Restrepo, Iveren Abeim, Roxana Aragón, Michelle Ataroff, Hazel Chapman, Belen Fadrique, Grizelle González, Achim Häger, Jürgen Homeier, Luis Daniel Llambí, Rikke Reese Næsborg, Laura Nohemy Poma López, Jorge Andrés Ramirez Correa, Klara Scharnagl, Conrado Tobón, James W. Dalling, Patrick H. Martin, Iveren Abiem, Shin‐Ichiro Aiba, Esteban Alvarez‐Dávila, Augusta Y. Cueva‐Agila, Romina D. Fernández, Sybil G. Gotsch, Carlos Iñiguez‐Armijos … & Cameron B. Williams
The “hierarchy of factors” hypothesis states that decomposition rates are controlled primarily by climatic, followed by biological and soil variables. Tropical montane forests (TMF) are globally important ecosystems, yet there have been limited efforts to provide a biome-scale characterization of litter decomposition. We designed a common litter decomposition experiment replicated in 23 tropical montane sites across the Americas, Asia, and Africa and combined these results with a previous study of 23 sites in tropical lowland...
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