Articles | Volume 19, issue 17
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-19-4129-2022
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-19-4129-2022
Research article
 | 
06 Sep 2022
Research article |  | 06 Sep 2022

Accounting for non-rainfall moisture and temperature improves litter decay model performance in a fog-dominated dryland system

J. Robert Logan, Kathe E. Todd-Brown, Kathryn M. Jacobson, Peter J. Jacobson, Roland Vogt, and Sarah E. Evans

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Short summary
Understanding how plants decompose is important for understanding where the atmospheric CO2 they absorb ends up after they die. In forests, decomposition is controlled by rain but not in deserts. We performed a 2.5-year study in one of the driest places on earth (the Namib desert in southern Africa) and found that fog and dew, not rainfall, closely controlled how quickly plants decompose. We also created a model to help predict decomposition in drylands with lots of fog and/or dew.
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