Functional diversity and process rate: role of nematodes in organic matter decomposition in a brackish water habitat.
The present project aims to study the role of free-living bacterivorous nematodes in the decomposition of macrophyte detritus in brackish water habitats. Emphasis is on <ol type=1>
<li>the effects of nematode species diversity and
<li>abiotic (hydrodynamic) factors on decomposition rate, and on
<li>direct and indirect interactions of nematodes and heterotrophic bacteria in the detrital food web. Key processes of decomposition, dynamics and patterns of sccession of nematodes and bacteria on detritus will be experimentally addressed.