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Article: Termites can decompose more than half of deadwood in tropical rainforest

TitleTermites can decompose more than half of deadwood in tropical rainforest
Authors
Issue Date2019
PublisherCell Press. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.current-biology.com/
Citation
Current Biology, 2019, v. 29 n. 4, p. R118-R119 How to Cite?
AbstractGlobally, an estimated 73 ± 6 Pg of carbon is contained in deadwood, representing roughly 30 times the amount of carbon sequestered by forests annually [1]. Decomposition transfers this carbon to the soil, other organisms or the atmosphere [2], but it is not clear how different biological agents contribute to the decomposition process. Using a novel large-scale termite suppression experiment in old growth tropical forest, we quantify, for the first time, the relative contribution of microbes and termites to deadwood decomposition. Contrary to prevailing understanding, we demonstrate that termites can be responsible for the majority of wood mass loss. Using a dead wood decomposition assay, we found termites were responsible for 58–64% of total mass loss, while microbes carried out 36–42%. Tropical forests are globally important for biodiversity and ecosystem service provision, yet climate change and habitat conversion [3] threaten the functioning of these forests with repercussions for the global biosphere [4]. Our study demonstrates that termite-mediated deadwood decay must be included in global carbon models. These findings will consequently help improve the accuracy of Earth-system models and climate forecasts in the face of global change.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/274281
ISSN
2020 Impact Factor: 10.834
2020 SCImago Journal Rankings: 3.822
ISI Accession Number ID

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorGriffiths, HM-
dc.contributor.authorAshton, LA-
dc.contributor.authorEvans, TA-
dc.contributor.authorParr, CL-
dc.contributor.authorEggleton, P-
dc.date.accessioned2019-08-18T14:58:39Z-
dc.date.available2019-08-18T14:58:39Z-
dc.date.issued2019-
dc.identifier.citationCurrent Biology, 2019, v. 29 n. 4, p. R118-R119-
dc.identifier.issn0960-9822-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/274281-
dc.description.abstractGlobally, an estimated 73 ± 6 Pg of carbon is contained in deadwood, representing roughly 30 times the amount of carbon sequestered by forests annually [1]. Decomposition transfers this carbon to the soil, other organisms or the atmosphere [2], but it is not clear how different biological agents contribute to the decomposition process. Using a novel large-scale termite suppression experiment in old growth tropical forest, we quantify, for the first time, the relative contribution of microbes and termites to deadwood decomposition. Contrary to prevailing understanding, we demonstrate that termites can be responsible for the majority of wood mass loss. Using a dead wood decomposition assay, we found termites were responsible for 58–64% of total mass loss, while microbes carried out 36–42%. Tropical forests are globally important for biodiversity and ecosystem service provision, yet climate change and habitat conversion [3] threaten the functioning of these forests with repercussions for the global biosphere [4]. Our study demonstrates that termite-mediated deadwood decay must be included in global carbon models. These findings will consequently help improve the accuracy of Earth-system models and climate forecasts in the face of global change.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherCell Press. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.current-biology.com/-
dc.relation.ispartofCurrent Biology-
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.titleTermites can decompose more than half of deadwood in tropical rainforest-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.identifier.emailAshton, LA: lashton@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authorityAshton, LA=rp02353-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.012-
dc.identifier.pmid30779897-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-85061363877-
dc.identifier.hkuros301596-
dc.identifier.volume29-
dc.identifier.issue4-
dc.identifier.spageR118-
dc.identifier.epageR119-
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000459035700006-
dc.publisher.placeUnited States-
dc.identifier.issnl0960-9822-

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