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    Herbivores can directly impact ecosystem function by altering litter quality of an ecosystem or indirectly by shifting the composition of microbial communities that mediate nutrient processes. We examined the effects of tree susceptibility and resistance to herbivory on litter microarthropod and soil microbial communities to test the general hypothesis that herbivore driven changes in litter inputs and soil microclimate will feedback to the microbial community. Our study population consisted of individual pinyon pine trees that were either susceptible or resistant to the stem-boring moth (Dioryctria albovittella) and susceptible pinyon pine trees from which the moth herbivores have been manually removed since 1982.

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    Classen, Aimee T.; Overby, Steven T.; Hart, Stephen C.; Koch, George W.; Whitham, Thomas G. 2007. Season mediates herbivore effects on litter and soil microbial abundance and activity in a semi-arid woodland. Plant and Soil. 295(1): 217-227.


    community-level physiological profiles, enzyme activity, insect herbivory, microarthropods, microbial biomass, semi-arid woodland

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