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Don’t throw the baby out with the (leached) bathwater; a reply to Lind et al., 2022
  • +4
  • Judith Sarneel,
  • Janna Barel,
  • Sarah Duddigan,
  • Joost Keuskamp,
  • Ada Pastor Oliveras,
  • Taru Sanden,
  • Gesche Blume-Werry
Judith Sarneel
Umeå University

Corresponding Author:judith.sarneel@umu.se

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Janna Barel
Radboud Universiteit
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Sarah Duddigan
University of Reading
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Joost Keuskamp
Biont Research
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Ada Pastor Oliveras
Universitat de Girona
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Taru Sanden
Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety
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Gesche Blume-Werry
Umea University
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Abstract

During litter decomposition, part of the water-soluble components of the material dissolve (leach) rapidly into available water in the environment. Studies on litter decomposition that quantify mass-loss from litterbags integrate leaching and mineralization. In contrast to Lind et al. (2022), we believe that correcting for leaching in (terrestrial) litterbags studies such as the Tea Bag Index will result in more uncertainties than it resolves. This is mainly because leaching is a continuous process and because leached material can still be mineralized after leaching. Further, amount of material that potentially leaches from tea is comparable to other litter types. When correcting for leaching, it is key to be specific about the employed method, just like being specific about the study specific definition of decomposition.
04 Nov 2022Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
08 Nov 2022Assigned to Editor
08 Nov 2022Submission Checks Completed
12 Nov 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
21 Nov 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
02 Dec 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Minor