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Soil Respiration

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Existing research has shown that plant communities at medium-sized carcass sites in North America and Australia are more diverse than those of controls. In addition, it is well documented that herbaceous plant growth is stimulated by carcass nutrients. However, it is unknown whether nutrient pulses from megacarcasses lead to locally increased growth of woody plants in African savannas.

Thus, our question is: Do woody plants show increased growth and nutrient content when grown in soil fertilized by a megacarcass?

We hypothesize that: After a one-year trial, tree seedling growth (total height, diameter at soil height, total dry mass) and leaf dry mass and nutrient content will all be significantly higher in seedlings grown in megacarcass soil as opposed to matrix soil across all five tree species.

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