Decomposition and nutrient cycling in deserts

TitleDecomposition and nutrient cycling in deserts
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1986
AuthorsWhitford WG
Series EditorWhitford WG
Series TitlePattern and Process in Desert Ecosystems
Number of Pages93-117
PublisherUniversity of New Mexico Press
CityAlbuquerque, New Mexico
Accession NumberJRN00032
Call Number00390
Keywordsbook, books, chapter, chapters, decomposition, desertification, decomposition, desertification, mineralization, ecosystem, desertification, nutrient cycling, report, reports

The results of the recent International Biological Program and other studies suggest that nutrients, especially nitrogen, may limit productivity in desert ecosystems when moisture is available. Few studies examined decomposition processes in desert ecosystems prior to the initiation of our work, but here were fairly extensive efforts focused on nitrogen processes in desert ecosystems as part of the International Biological Program. In this review, I will address the problem of both decomposition and nutrient cycling processes in desert ecosystems and attempt, wherever possible, to demonstrate the relationships between these processes and primary productivity. Since these processes are mediated via the soil biota, I will emphasize soil biotic interactions and their importance, where these are known or suspected.