The Role of Litter Decomposition, Fertility, and Litter-Dwelling Animals in the Carbon Cycle of a Tropical Rain Forest
MetadataShow full item record
Understanding the global carbon cycle is a crucial step in confronting one of the foremost concerns of our era: the unprecedented rate of worldwide climate change. Tropical rainforests, which process more carbon than any other terrestrial ecosystem, are an unparalleled research location in the effort to comprehend the implications of environmental variation on the cycling of carbon in food webs. As the continuation of a larger study begun in 2007, this research project completed measurements of decomposition and animal density across a fertility gradient at La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica. Our results show that decomposition rate was independent of nutrients, but that ant communities, and particularly the species richness of specific functional groups of ants, affected the rate of decomposition.