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Table 4 Role of soil physical and chemical properties, other environmental factors, and anthropogenic activities on litter decomposition process

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

Soil propertyRole in litter decomposition
• Texture• Stimulate water and nutrient dynamics, porosity, permeability, and surface area (Krishna and Mohan 2007).
• pH• In flooded area, biochemical decomposition may be limited by low pH and low oxygen concentration (Cuevas and Medina 1986).
• Organic matter• Because organic matter affects the different physico-chemical factors such as pH and bulk density, it has a big role in litter decomposition (Cuevas and Medina 1986).
• Because organic matter can increase the population of soil organisms, it plays a significant role in litter mixing and decomposition (Akpor et al. 2006).
• Soil nutrients• Because soil nutrients (e.g., N and P) regulate the microbial activities in the soil, it has a direct effect on litter decomposition (Akpor et al. 2006; Devis and Yadava 2007).
• Soil nutrient availability influences the decomposition of leaf litter: (a) through altering the microclimate, where litter decomposition occurs, and (b) through regulating the way in which the leaf litter enters the ecosystem (Gartner and Cardon 2006).
• Ecosystems• Decomposition varies among ecosystem (faster rates are found in tropical forests compared to temperate forests (Devis and Yadava 2007
• Temperature and water regimes• For example, since there is a lack of water in desert areas, it limits microbial activities, and decomposition is almost negligible (Perez-Suarez et al. 2012).
• Season• Litter decomposition may vary within various seasons (Cuevas and Lugo 1998).
• Anthropogenic activities• Compared to litter remaining on the soil surface, litter incorporated into the soil decomposes faster (Cuevas and Lugo 1998).