The aim of the study was to examine whether the effect of projected temperature rises due to the global climate change could accelerate plant litter decomposition in soils of overgrown grasslands. The experiment was carried out under natural conditions at the locations of Bohinj-Polje and Uskovnica with similar environmental conditions (precipitation, parent material and soil development, plant communities) and the difference in air temperatures. The average difference in monthly air temperatures during our study were higher in Bohinj for 4.4 °C (± 1.5 °C) than in Uskovnica. Nylon mesh bags with mixed plant litter from both locations were placed into the Of horizon of the soil profiles at both locations in autumn 2007. The litter bags were sampled successively at 4 sampling times until May 2009 in 5 replicates. The litter degradation, expressed as mass loss, was throughout our study 57.1 ± 1.2 % (0 - 526 days) in Bohinj, 57.3 ± 2.6 % (0 - 555 days) at Uskovnica. No statistically significant differences in litter decomposition rate and seasonal pattern of mass loss was found between the sites. The dynamics of the total content of cellulose and lignin, Corg and N and their soluble forms (DOC and DON) were similar between the sites as well. The lignin content in the plant material did not statistically significantly change during the experiment. The results of our experiment did not confirm the effect of the difference in average air temperature on decomposition rate decreases. The results did not confirm any effect from the difference in the average monthly air temperature between the sites on the plant litter decomposition in our study.


climate change; soil organic matter; carbon cycling; decomposition rate; lignin


ARSO. (2017). Agencija Republike Slovenije za okolje (ARSO), izpis meteoroloških podatkov iz baze podatkov za leta 2007-2009.

Berg, B., McClaugherty, C. (2014). Plant litter: decomposition, humus formation, carbon sequestration, Springer, 3rd edition, 315 str.

Coleman, C. D., Crossley, A. D., Hendrix, F. A. (2004). Fundamentals of soil ecology. 2nd edition. New York, Elsevier. 287 str.

Dar, G.H. (2010). Soil microbiology and biochemistry. New Delhi, New India publishing Agency, 512 str.

Davidson, E. A., Janssens, I. A. (2006). Temperature sensitivity of soil carbon decomposition and feedbacks to climate change. Nature, 440, 9,

Ding, J., Chen, L., Zhang, B., Liu, L., Yang, G., Fang, K., Chen, Y., Li, F., Kou, D., Ji, C., Luo, Y., Yanget, Y. (2016). Linking temperature sensitivity of soil CO2 release to substrate, environmental, and microbial properties across alpine ecosystems, Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 30, 1310–1323.

Duan, H., Wang, L., Zhang, Y., Fu, X., Tsang, Y., Wu, J., Le, Y. (2018). Variable decomposition of two plant litters and their effects on the carbon sequestration ability of wetland soil in the Yangtze River estuary. Geoderma, v tisku,

Houba, V. J. G. (1986). Comparision of soil extractions by 0.01 M CaCl2, by EUF and by some conventional extraction procedures. Plant and Soil, 96, 433-437.

Houle, D., Bouffard, A., Duchesne, L., Logan, T., Harvey, R. (2012). Projections of future soil temperature and water content for three southern Quebec Forested Sites. Journal of Climate, 25, 7690-7701.

IPCC. (2014). Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. R.K. Pachauri R.K., Meyer L.A. (ur.), IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland, 151 str.

ISO 10390. (2005). Soil quality - determination of pH. International Organization for Standardization, Genève, Switzerland

ISO 11277. (2009). Determination of particle size distribution in mineral soil material-method by sieving and sedimentation. International Organization for Standardization, Genève, Switzerland

Kajfež Bogataj, L., Pogačar, T., Ceglar A., Črepinšek, Z. (2010). Spremembe agroklimatskih spremenljivk v Sloveniji v zadnjih desetletjih. Acta agriculturae Slovenica, 95, 1, 97-109.

Kirschbaum, M.U.F. (2010). The temperature dependence of organic matter decomposition: seasonal temperature variations turn a sharp short-term temperature response into a more moderate annually averaged response. Global Change Biology, 16, 2117–2129.

Lavrenčič, A. (2003). Vaje pri predmetu Prehrana domačih živali. Ljubljana, Veterinarska fakulteta, 115 str.

Lützow, M., Kögel-Knabner, I. (2009). Temperature sensitivity of soil organic matter decomposition—what do we know? Biology and Fertility of Soils, 46, 1.

Okolje se spreminja: podnebna spremenljivost Slovenije in njen vpliv na vodno okolje. (2010). Ljubljana, Ministrstvo za okolje in prostor RS: 162 str.

Pogačar, T., Zupanc, V., Kajfež Bogataj, L., Črepinšek, Z. (2018). Soil temperature analysis for various locations in Slovenia. Italian Journal of Agrometeorology (v tisku).

Santonja, M., Fernandez, C., Gauquelin, T., Baldy, V. (2015). Climate change effects on litter decomposition: intensive drought leads to a strong decrease of litter mixture interactions. Plant and Soil, 393, 69-82.

Welsch, M., Yavitt, J.B. (2003). Early stages of decay of Lythrum salicaria L. and Typha latifolia L. in a standing-dead position. Aquatic Botany, 75, 45-57.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Marjetka Suhadolc, Zalika Črepinšek

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


Acta agriculturae Slovenica is an Open Access journal published under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY License.


eISSN 1854-1941