This process underlies soil formation and the liberalization of energy to higher trophic levels. How species loss influences decomposition rate involves different mechanisms than invoked for plant and consumer communities. Although competition and facilitation among microbial and invertebrate consumers might generate emergent effects of... bacteria, fungi, invertebrates) respond to resource variability is often the focus of biodiversity–ecosystem function research in these ecosystems. As there can exist high interspecific variation in leaf litter chemistry among tree species, how consumers (e.g. In particular, loss of tree species in forests translates into loss of leaf litter species in the detrital pool. Decomposition of organic matter derived from plants is an important ecosystem process in many environments, both aquatic and terrestrial. Since consumers do not influence the renewal rate of detritus, this donor?controlled resource often serves to stabilize food web dynamics.