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Stabilisation of soil organic matter in invertebrate faecal pellets through leaf litter grazing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Publication details

JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
DatePublished - May 2007
Issue number5
Number of pages4
Pages (from-to)1202-1205
Original languageEnglish


Soils were amended with either leaf litter or faeces from pill millipedes fed on the leaf litter, then incubated at 20 degrees C for 130 days whilst monitoring the respiration rates. Significantly more CO2 was respired from soil containing leaf litter than that amended with an equivalent weight of faecal matter, whilst the unamended soil exhibited a respiration rate similar to soil amended with faecal material. Consideration of these findings with recently observed differences in biochemical compositions of litter and faeces suggests that processing of plant litter by detritivores leads to more stabilised forms of organic matter by removal of biochemical components essential to the nutrient requirements of the invertebrate and the soil microbial biomass. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • decomposition, leaf litter, millipede faecal pellets, respiration, stabilization, GLOMERIS-MARGINATA, RESPIRATION

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