Tea Bag Index

Obejctive: to create a global soil map of tea bag decomposition.

The Tea bag index measures decay of plant material by using two types of tea bags (green and rooibos) as standard plant. Tea bags are placed in the soil and weight loss is determined after three months. As the tea types are composed of different material, their decomposition is indicative for a two phased decomposition model, with a fast initial phase and a slower second phase when weight loss levels off. With the decay of easy to decompose green tea  one can determine how much of the labile fraction of the material is decomposed and how much is stabilized (S). Rooibos tea decomposes much slower  and after three months, it is still in the first phase of decomposition. Thereby, the weight loss of rooibos tea is a proxy of the initial decomposition rate (k).By this it becomes easy to compare sites in an easy and standardized way and test climatic forcing on decomposition with a high resolution.

If you are interested to join this experiment, and agree with the terms and conditions below, please fill in the table at the bottom of this document and send it to TBlteam@decolab.org. Evaluation of the proposed contributions and invitations to become co-author can be expected one month after applying. After 1 February 2017 it is not possible to apply anymore.

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