Patterns of biodiversity, such as the increase toward the tropics and the peaked curve during ecological succession, are fundamental phenomena for ecology. Such patterns have multiple, interacting causes, but temperature emerges as a dominant factor across organisms from microbes to trees and mammals, and across terrestrial, marine, and freshwater environments. However, there is little consensus on the underlying mechanisms, even as global temperatures increase and the need to predict their effects becomes more pressing. The purpose of this project is to generate and test theory for how temperature impacts biodiversity through its effect on biochemical processes and metabolic rate. A combination of standardized surveys in the field and controlled experiments in the field and laboratory measure diversity of three taxa -- trees, invertebrates, and microbes -- and key biogeochemical processes of decomposition in seven forests distributed along a geographic gradient of increasing temperature from cold temperate to warm tropical. Leaf litter invertebrates and soil microbes were sampled in an array of 21 1m2 subplots by the Kaspari Ant Lab at the University of Oklahoma as part of this macrosystems biodiversity and latitude project supported by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement DEB#1065836.