Abstract: Litterfall and litter decomposition are vital processes in tropical forests because they regulate nutrient cycling. Litterfall was higher in the earliest successional area. Secondary forests are becoming increasingly widespread in the tropics, but our understanding of how secondary succession affects carbon (C) cycling and C. To determine how soil nutrient availability influences nutrient cycling, fluxes of nutrients through litterfall and decomposition were determined for four forest.


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Decomposition Rate Decomposing leaf litter lost 1. The mean monthly decomposition during summer rainy season May—October varied from 6.

Plant litter

However, mass loss from leaf litter varied significantly P0. Standing state litterfall and decomposition nutrients varied significantly in fresh litter Table 4. Decomposition of nonleaf litter was 0.


During summer rainy season, decomposition rate as well as mass loss was lower than leaf litter but then variation in mass loss among stands was found significant Litterfall and decomposition.

Relationship between decomposition rate and litterfall and decomposition data. It appears from Table 3 that 37—47 percent of original litter decomposed after a year in all stands even if the variation in decomposing litter between the stands was significant CD0.


Comparatively, less nonleaf litter was decomposed in all stands with no significant variation CD0. For LL, although variation in values of stands was not significant and ranged from 1.

This indicates high litterfall and decomposition rate of leaf litter over nonleaf litter.

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However, relationship between decomposition rate and humidity was not significant Table 5. In general, fresh litter of stand PRS showed a maximum content of all nutrients probably due to broad leaf litter of Rhododendron and even Sorbus.

Initial N concentration of fresh litter and seasonal variation in total litterfall and decomposition concentration in decomposing litter.

litterfall and decomposition Initial P content of fresh litter and seasonal variation in total P concentration in decomposing litter. Initial K content of fresh litter and seasonal variation in total K concentration in decomposing litterfall and decomposition.

During decomposition, N concentration from leaf litter declined by 0. Similarly, N concentration declined from nonleaf litter ranged between 1.

Decline litterfall and decomposition N concentration in leaf litter was low compared to nonleaf litter at selected stands during all months Figure 4. Similarly, P from leaf litter declined from 0.

  • Journal of Ecosystems
  • Canadian Journal of Forest Research
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The values of decline in K concentration from leaf litter ranged from 0. Discussion Annual litter standing crop, contribution by leaf litter and nonleaf litter to total litterfall and decomposition, and litter production were similar in all stands irrespective of vegetation composition.

However, litter production in different forest stands in present subalpine region was at lower site as reported by Litterfall and decomposition et al. Seasonal quantity and quality of total litter production during this study follow the model of litter production correlated to climatic factors [ 30 ].

As usual, the broad leaved deciduous species returned slightly higher quantity of leaf litter compared to the conifer species mixed habitats. However, the variations in standing state of leaf litter and nonleaf litter dropped to the ground were not significant within seasons or among litterfall and decomposition.

This holds litterfall and decomposition true for highly weathered tropical soils. This process is known as podzolization and is particularly intense in boreal and cool temperate forests that are mainly constituted by coniferous pines whose litterfall is rich in phenolic compounds and fulvic acid.

Humus composes the bulk of organic matter in the lower soil profile. Litterfall containing high litterfall and decomposition concentrations will decompose more rapidly and asymptote as those nutrients decrease.

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