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Title: Litter decomposition in southern Appalachian black locust and pine-hardwood stands: litter quality and nitrogen dynamics

Author: White, David L.; Haines, Bruce L.;

Date: 1988

Source: CAN. J. FOR. RES. VOL. 18, 1988. Pages 54 - 63

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: The chemical quality of litter, through its interaction with macroclimate and the litter biota, largely regulates the rate of organic matter (OM) and nitrogen (N) turnover in the forest floor (Cromack 1973; Fogel and Cromack 1977; Meentemeyer 1978; Aber and Melillo 1982; Melillo et al. 1982). Litter quality is thought to be related to the N require-ment and successional status of a species (Aber and Melillo 1982). Species occurring early in succession generally havehigher N contents and lower lignin contents than those occurring later in succession. Exceptions to this generality are the two early successional tree species pin cherry (Prunus pensylvanica L.) (Melillo et al. 1982) and the symbiotic N-fixer black locust (Robinia pseudo-acacia L.) (Bartuska and Lang 1981; White 1986), which have both high lignin and high N contents. Aber and Melillo (1982) found that pin cherry had a higher N immobilization rate than species with either lower lignin or lower N contents. Whether this same relationship is seen with black locust or other early successional species is not known.

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White, David L.; Haines, Bruce L. 1988. Litter decomposition in southern Appalachian black locust and pine-hardwood stands: litter quality and nitrogen dynamics. CAN. J. FOR. RES. VOL. 18, 1988. Pages 54 - 63

 


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