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Title: Recovery of decomposition and soil microarthropod communities in a clearcut watershed in the Southern Appalachians

Author: Heneghan, Liam; Salmore, Alissa;

Date: 2014

Source: In: Swank, Wayne T.; Webster, Jackson R., comps., eds. Long-term response of a forest watershed ecosystem. Clearcutting in the southern Appalachian. Oxford University Press: 134 -145.

Publication Series: Book Chapter

Description: The recovery of ecosystems after disturbance remains a productive theme for ecological research. Numerous studies have focused either on the reestablishment of biological communities or on the recovery of ecosystem processes after perturbations. In the case of decomposer organisms an the processes of organic matter decay and the mineralization of nutrients, the recovery of the biota and ecosystem process can be usefully considered together. To what degree must the organismal community recover before associated processes are restored to predisturbance levels? The question is an important one, especially in the context of ecosystem restoration, where emphasis is often placed on measuring the elements of ecosystem structure (expressed often as mean species composition) or the levels or rates of a key ecosystem function, but rarely on both simultaneously. Restoration ecology, in practice, has largely been a botanical science, and success is often measured by an evaluation of the recovery of a target plant community over one or two subsequent seasons; data investigating the long-term community viability is rarely documented. A clearer understanding of the link between the community and ecosystem processes needed for resilient communities may lead to and justify greater attention in restoration practice to a larger suite of variables. One model for this relationship can be found in soil microarthropods and leaf-litter decomposition processes.

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Heneghan, Liam; Salmore, Alissa. 2014. Recovery of decomposition and soil microarthropod communities in a clearcut watershed in the Southern Appalachians. In: Swank, Wayne T.; Webster, Jackson R., comps., eds. Long-term response of a forest watershed ecosystem. Clearcutting in the southern Appalachian. Oxford University Press: 134 -145.

 


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