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Publication Title:   Leaf-litter decomposition in the Picea - Tsuga forests of Olympic National Park, Washington, USA

Year:  1990     Publication Type:  Journal Article

H. J. Andrews Publication Number:  961

Citation:  Harmon, Mark E.; Baker, Gail A.; Spycher, Gody; Greene, Sarah E. 1990. Leaf-litter decomposition in the Picea - Tsuga forests of Olympic National Park, Washington, USA. Forest Ecology and Management. 31: 55-66.

Online PDF:  http://andrewsforest.oregonstate.edu/pubs/pdf/pub961.pdf

Abstract:  The factors controlling litter decomposition of eleven species of leaf litter were examined in theH{,h Rain Forest, Olympic National Park. Washington. using the litter-bag method. Leaching oflitter decreased the decay rate-constant as compared to unleached litter. This decrease was inproportion to the readily leachable fraction ( RLF) in the litter. Decay of both leached and un-leached litter was highly correlated (P <0.001 ) with lignin : nitrogen ratio, although the regres-sions differed significantly between leached and unleached litter. Of the unleached litters used,Cornus nutallii decayed fastest (k =2.35-2.46/year ), and Pinus monticola decayed slowest( k =0.38/year ). A double-exponential regression was used to fit decay time-series from four spe-cies. This analysis indicated that species differed markedly in the proportion of fast and slowcomponents and that the fast component was correlated with RLF for three of four species tested.Fast components decayed an order of magnitude faster than slow components. The rate at whichthese components decayed varied between species, indicating that both the amount and decayrate-constant of fast and slow components must he estimated to use the double-exponentialequation.

Personnel and Keyword Links

Author Links
Harmon ,  Mark   E.
Baker ,  Gail   A.
Spycher ,  Gody  
Greene ,  Sarah   E.

Ecosystem function
Ecosystem monitoring
Old-growth forests

Olympic National Park
Hoh River

Picea sitchensis
Tsuga heterophylla
Carduelis pinus