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Journal Articles Trends in Ecology & Evolution Year : 2022

Co-evolutionary legacies on plant decomposition


Co-evolution has driven speciation and evolutionary novelty in functional traits across the Tree of Life. Classic co-evolutionary syndromes such as plant-pollinator, plant-herbivore, and host-parasite have focused strongly on the fitness consequences during the lifetime of the interacting partners. Less is known about the consequences of co-evolved traits for ecosystem-level processes, in particular their “afterlife” legacies for litter decomposition, nutrient cycling and the functional ecology of decomposers. We review the mechanisms by which traits that result from co-evolution between plants and their consumers, microbial symbionts or humans, and between microbial decomposers and invertebrates, drive plant litter decomposition pathways and rates. This supports the idea that much of today’s global variation in the decomposition of plant material is a legacy of co-evolution
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Dates and versions

hal-03748585 , version 1 (09-08-2022)



J. Hans C. Cornelissen, William Cornwell, Grégoire Freschet, James Weedon, Matty Berg, et al.. Co-evolutionary legacies on plant decomposition. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, In press, ⟨10.1016/j.tree.2022.07.008⟩. ⟨hal-03748585⟩
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