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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2018-445
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2018-445
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 09 Nov 2018

Research article | 09 Nov 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG).

Different sensitivities of litter decomposition and nutrient release to ultraviolet radiation

Weiming Yan1,2, Zhouping Shangguan1, and Yangquanwei Zhong3 Weiming Yan et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess Plateau, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, P.R. China
  • 2Institute of soil and water conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, P.R. China
  • 3Center for Ecological and Environmental Sciences, Key Laboratory for Space Bioscience & Biotechnology, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an, 710072, P.R. China

Abstract. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation plays an important role in litter decomposition. Despite years of research, it is still not fully understood that the role of UV radiation in litter decomposition and carbon (C) and nutrient release, as well as the direct (litter decay directly exposed to UV) and indirect (plants received UV during growth) effects. In this study, a meta-analysis that comprised 54 published studies concerning UV radiation experiments, including 598 observations, was performed to quantify the responses of litter decomposition and C and nutrient release to UV radiation. The direct and indirect effects of UV-B enhancement on litter decomposition did not differ, but the direct effects of litter weight loss were more sensitive than the indirect effects under UV attenuation. Changes in UV radiation did not affect litter decomposition under laboratory conditions, but litter type only affected the rate of decomposition. In addition, the weight loss under UV radiation exhibited three-stage temporal dynamics: UV enhancement accelerated litter decomposition but required UV accumulation, whereas the UV attenuation effect decreased with time. The litter decomposition rates increased with decreasing precipitation (<450mm), and the sensitivity increased as the precipitation decreased (<700mm). Overall, UV attenuation showed considerable effects on C and nitrogen (N) release. The findings of this meta-analysis suggested that photodecomposition effects on litter decomposition depend on many factors and can alter C and N cycling during decomposition.

Weiming Yan et al.
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Short summary
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is an important driver of litter decomposition in ecosystems. In this study, we determined the response of litter decomposition and nutrient release to UV changes using the meta-analysis based on global data. We found that UV plays an important role in litter decomposition in areas of relatively low precipitation and the effect on litter decomposition depends on many factors. Our results suggested changes in UV radiation altered C and N cycling during decomposition.
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is an important driver of litter decomposition in ecosystems. In this...
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