Home-field advantage of litter decomposition: from the phyllosphere to the soil

N. Fanin (Corresponding author), D. Lin (Corresponding author), G.T. Freschet, A.D. Keiser, L. Augusto, David A. Wardle, G.F. Veen

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


Plants often associate with specialized decomposer communities that increase plant litter breakdown, a phenomenon that is known as the ‘home-field advantage’ (HFA). Although the concept of HFA has long considered only the role of the soil microbial community, explicit consideration of the role of the microbial community on the foliage before litter fall (i.e. the phyllosphere community) may help us to better understand HFA. We investigated the occurrence of HFA in the presence vs absence of phyllosphere communities and found that HFA effects were smaller when phyllosphere communities were removed. We propose that priority effects and interactions between phyllosphere and soil organisms can help explain the positive effects of the phyllosphere at home, and suggest a path forward for further investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1353-1358
Number of pages6
JournalNew Phytologist
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • international
  • Plan_S-Compliant_NO


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