To assess whether or not water flow between litters can explain observed nonadditive effect of litter mixture on decomposition, one has to compare results in mixture predicted by the model to real data. To obtain expected mixture results from the model that will be compared to observed mixture results, we used the parameters obtained for each litter in the calibration phase (Table 2). First, to have the “no interaction” data, where water does not flow between litters, we calculated the mass loss of litters alone and summed 50% of these remaining masses from each litter to compose the modeled “no interaction” mixture results. To have the modeled “interaction” mixture results, at each time step water was allowed to flow from Srubellum litter (the wet one) to Mcaerulea litter (the dry one), with the rules detailed in Figure 1.

In the last step of the calibration phase, the predicted remaining masses were compared to the measurements made in the laboratory (Gogo et al., 2016). To assess the goodness of fit of the validation, the adjusted R 2 and the normalized random mean square error (NRMSE) were calculated. The difference between 1) the no interaction and interaction scenarios and between 2) the measured expected remaining mass (calculated from the litter decomposing in a single‐species situation) and the observed remaining mass was calculated.

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