The impact of invertebrate decomposers on plants and soil

Griffiths, Hannah M, Ashton, Louise A, Parr, Catherine L ORCID: 0000-0003-1627-763X and Eggleton, Paul
(2021) The impact of invertebrate decomposers on plants and soil. NEW PHYTOLOGIST, 231 (6). pp. 2142-2149.

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Soil invertebrates make significant contributions to the recycling of dead plant material across the globe. However, studies focussed on the consequences of decomposition for plant communities largely ignore soil fauna across all ecosystems, because microbes are often considered the primary agents of decay. Here, we explore the role of invertebrates as not simply facilitators of microbial decomposition, but as true decomposers, able to break down dead organic matter with their own endogenic enzymes, with direct and indirect impacts on the soil environment and plants. We recommend a holistic view of decomposition, highlighting how invertebrates and microbes act in synergy to degrade organic matter, providing ecological services that underpin plant growth and survival.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: decomposition, invertebrates, microbes, nutrient cycling, plant growth and nutrition, soil fauna
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Engineering > School of Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2021 15:14
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 22:37
DOI: 10.1111/nph.17553
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