Stone.etal.2019.DecomposerComposition

Macro- and meso-decomposer litter invertebrate composition data- Ambient litter invertebrates were sampled around the mesh leaf litter bags (see litter mass loss data), where we hand-collected a single 1 L litter sample from across the ground surface at each site (25 sites), five months after litter bag deployment. These were transferred to the laboratory within a few hours of collection, and invertebrates were extracted over 72 hours using Tullgren funnels and collected in ethanol-filled jars. Using a light microscope, we first grouped all invertebrates into two body size categories: macro (>1 mm long and wide) and meso (<1 mm long or wide) corresponding to the bag mesh size threshold. We also identified all to a level sufficiently fine to enable a dominant feeding guild (Stork 1987) to be assigned (for example, to Family for most beetles, to Infraorder for termites, to Class for centipedes); these guilds were decomposers (detritivores), predators, herbivores and fungivores. In some cases we chose the feeding guild known to be most common for a broader taxon. These data were then expressed as counts of individuals per site in each body size-feeding guild combination, at the Class or Order level.