The role of photodegradation in surface litter decomposition in grasslands along UV-B gradient
Experiment Id

Process-based models of plant litter decomposition typically underestimate the rates of decomposition in arid and semi-arid grasslands. Recent research, including our field studies, suggests that photodegradation, the decomposition of material through solar radiation, may play an important role in arid and semi-arid grassland ecosystems. The contribution of photodegradation to overall rates of decomposition is not well understood or quantified. The goal of this project is to investigate the effects of ultraviolet radiation on rates of plant litter decomposition for two grass species, Andropogon gerardii and Bouteloua gracilis, in three grassland sites: Cedar Creek (MN), Shortgrass Steppe (CO), and Sevilleta (NM).