Although numerous short-term experiments have been used to develop conceptual and simulation models of decomposition, very little is known about the later stages of this process. Exclusion of this later stage has led, at best, to incomplete understanding of ecosystem carbon and nitrogen dynamics. We propose a working group to examine the wealth of litter and decomposition data that has been produced by several recent long-term field experiments.
The workshop was designed as a pre-meeting for future collaboration of a multi-site organic matter decomposition experiment in the East Asia-Pacific region. The meeting and discussion among potential site collaborators worked towards a successful regional cross-site comparison study. The Taiwan Ecological Research Network (TERN) took the responsibility to organize, host and conduct this workshop and the follow-up on the decomposition field experiment and to publish the group results. Workshop funds were supported, in part, from the ILTER network.
The workshop, “Scoop on Dirt” was held to compare soil organic matter (SOM) data and elicit a dialogue among estuarine wetland scientists from the eastern U.S., Gulf and Pacific coasts. The workshop, organized by Chris Craft, was held in conjunction with the Estuarine Research Federation meeting. Approximately 50 participants attended, including a core group of scientists (Jim Morris-PIE, Linda Blum, Bob Christian, Iris Anderson-VCR, Chris Craft-GCE, Randy Chambers-FCE) from coastal NSF LTER sites.