TeaComposition: Effect of organic matter manipulation on a tea leaf litter decomposition experiment in a deciduous forest

Dr Zsolt Kotroczó1, Dr Katalin Juhos1, Mr Sándor Attila  Pabar1, Dr Tamás Kocsis4, Dr Imre Berki2, Dr Ika Djukic3, Dr István Fekete1

1Szent István University, Department of Soil Science and Water Management, Budapest, Hungary, 2Institute of Environmental and Earth Sciences, University of Sopron, Sopron, Hungary, 3Austrian Environment Agency, Wien, Austria, 4Szent István University, Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology, Budapest, Hungary

In June 2016 started an international initiative, the “TeaComposition” experiment, encompassing various ecosystems, covers 570 research areas in nine mainland regions. The aim of the initiative is to investigate the degradation and change of SOM in different climatic conditions using a single protocol and standard leaf-litter (tea leaves). The research area of the Síkfőkút Project also joined the research, taking advantage of the opportunities provided by the DIRT project for the manipulation of organic matter. Two types of tea commodity were used, a green tea (Camellia sinensis) and a roibos shrub (Aspalanthus linearis) leaf filter. The first one is assumes a faster rate of decomposition with high cellulose content, while the second one has a higher lignin content and it is assumes slower decomposition rate. During our investigations, tea filters were placed in the plots of various longtime litter manipulation experiments. According to Tukey test, our results, in the case of the nearly 20-year-old litter manipulation experiments, Double Litter and Control treatments showed significantly higher decomposition rates for both tea types than No Litter. In the more rapidly decomposing tea (green tea), No Roots was also significantly different from No Litter treatments. According to the results of 2016, the average degradation of green tea was 70.26%, while Rooibos tea was 21.56%. One year leaf tea decomposition data showed no significant difference, but the degradation of rooibos tea (27.27%) was stronger than green tea (71.44%).

For soils with balanced moisture and temperature, faster decomposition can be explained by higher activity of the persistent microbial community in contrast to withdrawal treatments where the soil surface is exposed, moisture and temperature conditions change under more extreme conditions.


Project no. 126478 has been implemented with the support provided by the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund of Hungary, financed under the KH_17 funding scheme


Bio to come


7th International Symposium
Soil Organic Matter

6 – 11 October 2019

Hilton Adelaide

Adelaide, South Australia


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