Fine root decomposition and link to aboveground leaf litter decomposition
With the traditional litterbag technique, we quantify decomposition rates of tree fine roots of different chemical and morphological characteristics in monospecific and mixed tree stands. Fine root decomposition is compared to leaf litter decomposition (assessed in the previous FunDivEUROPE project), and the relative importance of above- and belowground plant traits, as well as indices of soil fauna diversity and environmental conditions in driving decomposition, are evaluated.
Microbial activity and associated elemental fluxes
A series of microbial processes, including substrate induced respiration, denitrification and nitrification enzyme activity, and catabolic diversity (using MicroResp™) are measured in monospecific and mixed stands. The relationship between these processes and the various diversity measures of above- and belowground biota are evaluated and cross-linked with soil microbial diversity data.