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Title: Degradation of Leaf Litter Phenolics by Aquatic and Terrestrial Isopods
Authors: Zimmer, Martin 
Oliveira, Ricardo 
Rodrigues, Elsa 
Graça, Manuel A. S. 
Issue Date: 2005
Citation: Journal of Chemical Ecology . 31:8 (2005) 1933-1952
Abstract: To investigate species-specific decomposition rates of litter from native (Quercus faginea) and introduced (Eucalyptus globulus) tree species in Portugal, we monitored changes in the phenolic signature of leaf litter during decomposition as mediated by an aquatic, Proasellus coxalis (Isopoda: Asellota), and two terrestrial, Porcellio dispar and Eluma caelatum (Isopoda: Oniscidea), detritivores. Although the litter of Eucalyptus and Quercus did not differ in overall protein precipitation capacity, we detected differences in terms of contents of particular phenolic compounds and phenol oxidation products. Accordingly, we observed food-specific consumption rates in Proasellus, but not in the terrestrial isopods. Proasellus digested Eucalyptus at significantly higher rates than Quercus, whereas the opposite was the case for Eluma, and Porcellio digested both litter types equally well. Despite slight differences in detail, effects of Proasellus on changes in the signature of litter phenolics were similar for both litter types, whereas terrestrial isopods—Porcellio and Eluma, although they differed from each other—digestively degraded phenolic compounds in Eucalyptus and Quercus litter, respectively, in different ways. Overall, however, degradation of litter phenolics was similarly effective on both litter types. From these data, we conclude that decomposition of Eucalyptus litter does not proceed more slowly than of litter from native Portuguese trees.
DOI: 10.1007/s10886-005-5935-4
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:FCTUC Ciências da Vida - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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