Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern
Help
 

GeoTreesearch


Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

(1.0 MB byte)

Title: Scots pine litter decomposition along drainage succession and soil nutrient gradients in peatland forests, and the effects of inter-annual weather variation

Author: Laiho, Raija; Laine, Jukka; Trettin, Carl C.; Finér, Leena

Date: 2004

Source: Soil Biology and Biochemistry 36: 1095-1109

Publication Series: Not categorized

Description: Peatlands form a large carbon (C) pool but their C sink is labile and susceptible to changes in climate and land-use. Some pristine peatlands are forested, and others have the potential: the amount of arboreal vegetation is likely to increase if soil water levels are lowered as a consequence of climate change. On those sites tree litter dynamics may be crucial for the C balance. We studied the decomposition of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) needle and root litter in boreal peatland sites representing gradients in drainage succession (succession following water level drawdown caused by forest drainage) and soil nutrient level during several years of varying weather conditions. Neither gradient had an unambiguous effect on litter mass loss. Mass loss over 2 years was faster in undrained versus drained sites for both needle litter, incubated in the moss layer, and fine root litter, incubated in 0-10 cm peat layer, suggesting moisture stress in the surface layers of the drained sites limited decomposition. Differences among the drained sites were not consistent. Among years, mass loss correlated positively with precipitation variables, and mostly negatively or not at all with temperature sum. We concluded that a long-term water level drawdown In peatlands does not necessarily enhance decay of fresh organic matter. Instead, the drained site may turn into a 'large hummock-system' where several factors, including litter quality, relative moisture deficiency, higher acidity, lower substrate temperature, and in deeper layers also oxygen deficiency, may interact to constrain organic matter decomposition. Further, the decomposition rates may not vary systematically among sites of different soil nutrient levels following water level drawdown. Our results emphasize the importance of annual weather variations on decomposition rates, and demonstrate that single-period incubation studies incorporate an indeterminable amount of temporal variation.

Keywords: Climate change, needle litter, organic matter decomposition, peatlands, Pinus sylvestris, root litter, weather variations

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

XML: View XML

Citation:


Laiho, Raija; Laine, Jukka; Trettin, Carl C.; Finér, Leena 2004. Scots pine litter decomposition along drainage succession and soil nutrient gradients in peatland forests, and the effects of inter-annual weather variation. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 36: 1095-1109

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.