The litter bag technique for studying detritus decomposition in aquatic ecosystems. A case study in the South of Italy, (Lake Alimini)


Leaf litter decomposition rates in aquatic ecosystems are known to be related to many different abiotic and biotic factors.A comparative analysis of inter and intra-habitat variations of detritus decay rates across ecosystem types was carried out in the Alimini lake complex (Italy)to assess the relevance of major ecosystem features to detritus processing rates.Overall,the spatial variability of leaf decomposition rates was more pronounced than temporal variability,decomposition rates in the stream being 3.6 and 5.2 times faster than in the freshwater lake and saltmarsh,respectively.Overall,environmental features were relevant factors affecting intra-and inter-habitat variation of reed decay rates.

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