While teachers and students in more general subjects will find the most basic information on decomposition processes in this book, scientists and graduate students working on decomposition processes will be entirely satisfied with the more detailed information and the overview of the latest publications on the topic as well as the methodological chapter where practical information on methods useful in decomposition studies can be found. Abundant data sets will serve as an excellent aid in teaching process and will be also of interest to researchers specializing in this field as no thorough database exists at the moment.
Provides over 60 tables and 90 figures
Offers a conceptual 3-step model describing the different steps of the decomposition process, demonstrating changes in the organic-chemical structure and nutrient contents
Includes a synthesis of the current state of knowledge on foliar litter decomposition in natural systems
Integrates more traditional knowledge on organic matter decomposition with current problems of environmental pollution, global change, etc.
Details contemporary knowledge on organic matter decomposition
2. Litter fall
3. Decomposers: soil microorganisms and animals
4. Changes in substrate composition and rate-regulating factors during decomposition
5. Nitrogen dynamics in decomposing litter
6. Origin and structure of secondary organic matter and sequestration of C
7. Climatic and geographic patterns in decomposition
8. Anthropogenic impacts on litter decomposition and soil organic matter
9. Methods in studies of organic matter decay