Latitude dictates plant diversity effects on instream decomposition

Luz Boyero, Javier Pérez, Naiara López-Rojo, Alan M. Tonin, Francisco Correa-Araneda, Richard G. Pearson, Jaime Bosch, Ricardo J. Albariño, Sankarappan Anbalagan, Leon A. Barmuta, Leah Beesley, Francis J. Burdon, Adriano Caliman, Marcos Callisto, Ian C. Campbell, Bradley J. Cardinale, J. Jesús Casas, Ana M. Chará-Serna, Szymon Ciapała, Eric ChauvetCheco Colón-Gaud, Aydeé Cornejo, Aaron M. Davis, Monika Degebrodt, Emerson S. Dias, María E. Díaz, Michael M. Douglas, Arturo Elosegi, Andrea C. Encalada, Elvira De Eyto, Ricardo Figueroa, Alexander S. Flecker, Tadeusz Fleituch, André Frainer, Juliana S. França, Erica A. García, Gabriela García, Pavel García, Mark O. Gessner, Paul S. Giller, Jesús E. Gómez, Sergio Gómez, Jose F. Gonçalves, Manuel A.S. Graça, Robert O. Hall, Neusa Hamada, Luiz U. Hepp, Cang Hui, Daichi Imazawa, Tomoya Iwata, Edson S.A. Junior, Samuel Kariuki, Andrea Landeira-Dabarca, María Leal, Kaisa Lehosmaa, Charles M’Erimba, Richard Marchant, Renato T. Martins, Frank O. Masese, Megan Camden, Brendan G. McKie, Adriana O. Medeiros, Jen A. Middleton, Timo Muotka, Junjiro N. Negishi, Jesús Pozo, Alonso Ramírez, Renan S. Rezende, John S. Richardson, José Rincón, Juan Rubio-Ríos, Claudia Serrano, Angela R. Shaffer, Fran Sheldon, Christopher M. Swan, Nathalie S.D. Tenkiano, Scott D. Tiegs, Janine R. Tolod, Michael Vernasky, Anne Watson, Mourine J. Yegon, Catherine M. Yule

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Running waters contribute substantially to global carbon fluxes through decomposition of terrestrial plant litter by aquatic microorganisms and detritivores. Diversity of this litter may influence instream decomposition globally in ways that are not yet understood. We investigated latitudinal differences in decomposition of litter mixtures of low and high functional diversity in 40 streams on 6 continents and spanning 113° of latitude. Despite important variability in our dataset, we found latitudinal differences in the effect of litter functional diversity on decomposition, which we explained as evolutionary adaptations of litter-consuming detritivores to resource availability. Specifically, a balanced diet effect appears to operate at lower latitudes versus a resource concentration effect at higher latitudes. The latitudinal pattern indicates that loss of plant functional diversity will have different consequences on carbon fluxes across the globe, with greater repercussions likely at low latitudes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbereabe7860
    Pages (from-to)1-7
    Number of pages7
    JournalScience Advances
    Issue number13
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2021


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