Articles | Volume 2, issue 2
https://doi.org/10.5194/soil-2-199-2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/soil-2-199-2016
Original research article
 | 
19 May 2016
Original research article |  | 19 May 2016

Fire affects root decomposition, soil food web structure, and carbon flow in tallgrass prairie

E. Ashley Shaw, Karolien Denef, Cecilia Milano de Tomasel, M. Francesca Cotrufo, and Diana H. Wall

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Short summary
We investigated fire's effects on root decomposition and carbon (C) flow to the soil food web. We used 13C-labeled dead roots buried in microcosms constructed from two burn treatment soils (annual and infrequent burn). Our results showed greater root decomposition and C flow to the soil food web for the annual burn compared to infrequent burn treatment. Thus, roots are a more important C source for decomposers in annually burned areas where surface plant litter is frequently removed by fire.