Event Title

Log Decomposition Dynamics in Interior Alaska

Event Website

http://www.nafew2009.org/

Start Date

25-6-2009 11:10 AM

End Date

25-6-2009 11:30 AM

Description

Logs on and in the forest floor represent a potential large pool of carbon in forest ecosystems. The decomposition of the logs results in the release of stored carbon back into the atmosphere. It is currently thought that this release will take a substantial period of time however; these changes have not been measured in a large number of species in forested regions. From 1994 to 1996, a log decomposition monitoring study was started in a series of sites established in the successional turning points, using ecosystems dominated by alder, balsam poplar and white spruce on floodplain locations and aspen, birch and white spruce in upland locations. This study was set up using green logs from within the forest ecosystems. Fifteen logs were placed on the forest floor in each of six replicate sites to be sampled at years 0, 2, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and subsequent 10 year intervals till year 100. The initial ten year results show large differences in the decomposition rates between the species. Currently the species with the highest decomposition rate is alder on floodplain sites, which has lost 62.5% of its total mass (wood and bark) in 10 years. The lowest rate was for white spruce on floodplain sites that lost 29.5%, or birch in upland sites which has lost 30.6% of its total mass in 10 years. This represents a loss of 59.4%, 29.5% and 28.2% of the carbon in the floodplain alder, white spruce and upland birch, respectively.

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Jun 25th, 11:10 AM Jun 25th, 11:30 AM

Log Decomposition Dynamics in Interior Alaska

Logs on and in the forest floor represent a potential large pool of carbon in forest ecosystems. The decomposition of the logs results in the release of stored carbon back into the atmosphere. It is currently thought that this release will take a substantial period of time however; these changes have not been measured in a large number of species in forested regions. From 1994 to 1996, a log decomposition monitoring study was started in a series of sites established in the successional turning points, using ecosystems dominated by alder, balsam poplar and white spruce on floodplain locations and aspen, birch and white spruce in upland locations. This study was set up using green logs from within the forest ecosystems. Fifteen logs were placed on the forest floor in each of six replicate sites to be sampled at years 0, 2, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and subsequent 10 year intervals till year 100. The initial ten year results show large differences in the decomposition rates between the species. Currently the species with the highest decomposition rate is alder on floodplain sites, which has lost 62.5% of its total mass (wood and bark) in 10 years. The lowest rate was for white spruce on floodplain sites that lost 29.5%, or birch in upland sites which has lost 30.6% of its total mass in 10 years. This represents a loss of 59.4%, 29.5% and 28.2% of the carbon in the floodplain alder, white spruce and upland birch, respectively.

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/nafecology/sessions/forest_detritus/2