|Title||The influence of arthropods on ecosystems.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1983|
|Journal||BioScience 34(3): 157-161|
Arthropod interactions with plants and microbes influence the amounts of living and dead organic matter and transfers of nutrients in terrestrial ecosystems. Arthropods in the canopy have their greatest effect on mobile elements such as potassium, whereas soil detritivores influence mineralization rates of less mobile elements such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and calcium. Nominal (baseline) herbivory and detritivory combine to speed nutrient cycling and reduce standing crops of decaying plant materials.