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Ecology, 91(4), 2010, pp. 12251236 2010 by the Ecological Society of America
 

Summary: Ecology, 91(4), 2010, pp. 12251236
2010 by the Ecological Society of America
Single-pool exponential decomposition models:
potential pitfalls in their use in ecological studies
E. CAROL ADAIR,1,2,4
SARAH E. HOBBIE,2
AND RUSSELL K. HOBBIE
3
1
Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55108 USA
2
Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55108 USA
3
Department of Physics, Emeritus, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455 USA
Abstract. The importance of litter decomposition to carbon and nutrient cycling has
motivated substantial research. Commonly, researchers fit a single-pool negative exponential
model to data to estimate a decomposition rate (k). We review recent decomposition research,
use data simulations, and analyze real data to show that this practice has several potential
pitfalls. Specifically, two common decisions regarding model form (how to model initial mass)
and data transformation (log-transformed vs. untransformed data) can lead to erroneous

  

Source: Adair, E. Carol - National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, University of California at Santa Barbara
Minnesota, University of - Cedar Creek Natural History Area

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology