Plant Litter: Decomposition, Humus Formation, Carbon by Dr. Björn Berg, Dr. Charles McClaugherty (auth.)

By Dr. Björn Berg, Dr. Charles McClaugherty (auth.)

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Extra info for Plant Litter: Decomposition, Humus Formation, Carbon Sequestration

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This finding was not pursued and it was not until the 1980s that additional detailed studies followed. Manganese is also involved in the regulation of other lignolytic enzymes, including laccase (Archibald and Roy 1992) and lignin peroxidase (Perez and Jeffries 1992). The role of Mn-peroxidase in lignin degradation is not clear although one of its roles may be to form H20 2. The enzyme itself shows no affinity for non-phenolic compounds, which on the other hand are readily attacked by ligninase.

8); others have created quotients between the lignin in litter and the holocellulose plus lignin parts (HLQ; Berg et al. 1984; McClaugherty and Berg 1987) or between lignin and lignocellulose (LCI; Aber et al. 1990). These developments still have not improved our understanding of the degradation rate of lignin and lit- 22 2 Decomposition as a process ter in late stage of decomposition, where the lignin degradation rate regulates the decomposition of the whole litter (Berg and Staaf 1980a; Berg et al.

8B, see also Chap. 7). Respiration rates from decomposing litter (and humus) often are used directly as measured, and in short-term experiments this means that the respiration rates are determined by those components that decompose the fastest. In an attempt to overcome this, Couteaux et al. (1998), using Scots pine needle litter, divided the litter into three compartments with components of different degradability and called them "labile", "intermediate", and "recalcitrant". Using different approaches, they determined the sizes of these pools and the rate constants for decomposition.

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