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Table 2 Summary of the major biotic and abiotic factors affecting in situ litter production

From: Role of litter production and its decomposition, and factors affecting the processes in a tropical forest ecosystem: a review

Environmental factorsEffects
• Climate• Rainfall and length of the growing season determine the in situ litter production (Melo et al. 2013).
• Soil fertility• During decomposition process nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and calcium (Ca) will be released from plant litter and are accessible for plants and microbial uptake, which in turn could increase the in situ litter production (Cadish and Giller 1997).
• Actual evapotranspiration• Litter production is explained more by actual evaporation compared to latitude and potential evapotranspiration (Melo et al. 2013).
• Wind and storms• Winds and storms may affect the speed of transformation of plant organ into litter (Cadish and Giller 1997).
• Time lag• The time lag between the formation of plant organ and its deposition determines in situ litter production (Franklin et al. 2002).
• Herbivores• Though consumption usually reduces the standing biomass, herbivores may either increase or decrease the production of litter (Gonzalez et al. 2005).