Modeling the Persistence of Lignocellulosic Detritus in Wetland Ecosystems
Lignocellulose derived from the biomass of marine or aquatic vascular plants constitutes the single most abundant source of organic matter in many wetland ecosystems such as marshes and swamps. The detritus that forms when the plants die and are deposited on the sediments is presumed to serve both as the basis of animal food webs and as the starting material from which sedimentary geopolymers, such as humus and peat, are made. Thus, the longterm fate of lignocellulose, which is a complex heteropolymer of lignin and the polysaccharides, cellulose and hemicellulose, is of interest to both the ecologist, from the standpoint of nutrient cycling and ecosystem trophodynamics, and the geochemist, modeling the accumulation and dissimilation of sedimentary organic matter. Central to both of these efforts is an understanding of the kinetics of lignocellulose transformation and mineralization in aquatic ecosystems.
KeywordsSalt Marsh Wetland Ecosystem Sedimentary Organic Matter Detrital Material Decay Coefficient
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