Event Title

Coarse Woody Debris Dynamics and Nutrient Cycling in Black Spruce Forests of North-Western Quebec

Event Website

http://www.nafew2009.org/

Start Date

25-6-2009 9:20 AM

End Date

25-6-2009 9:40 AM

Description

Dead wood is an important component of forest ecosystems. It has been demonstrated to be a crucial component to support biodiversity and has the potential to play a role within nutrient cycles of boreal forests. Coarse woody debris (CWD) is typically abundant in natural forests, however, it is poor in nutrients and typically contributes a minor fraction of nutrients annually produced in boreal forests. Recent studies have shown CWD has the ability to provide a large proportion of nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus required for live tree growth. Black spruce forests are typically the most nutrient limited of all boreal ecosystems which may elevate the importance of CWD. The black spruce forests of the claybelt region in Quebec and Ontario are prone to paludification. This is a process where litter accumulates, moss growth prevents regeneration, an increase in the water table and a decrease in the rate of litter decomposition. Our study objectives are to 1) determine the volume and decay stage of CWD across a successional gradient of black spruce stands, 2) determine the decay rate of CWD along the successional gradient, 3) determine the rate or nutrient release from CWD and 4) examine the role of CWD in black spruce ecosystems. We studied a chronosequence of 10 black spruce stands from 54 to 710 years old. In each stand we sampled cross sections of CWD and determining the time since death, amount of decay and nutrient content. Our preliminary analysis demonstrates that maximum volumes of CWD and highest decay rates are reached approximately 100 years after a stand replacing disturbance. Nutrient analysis is in progress and results will be presented. CWD is important for conserving biodiversity and has the potential to play critical roles in forest nutrient dynamics, making it an important consideration under ecosystem based management strategies.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Jun 25th, 9:20 AM Jun 25th, 9:40 AM

Coarse Woody Debris Dynamics and Nutrient Cycling in Black Spruce Forests of North-Western Quebec

Dead wood is an important component of forest ecosystems. It has been demonstrated to be a crucial component to support biodiversity and has the potential to play a role within nutrient cycles of boreal forests. Coarse woody debris (CWD) is typically abundant in natural forests, however, it is poor in nutrients and typically contributes a minor fraction of nutrients annually produced in boreal forests. Recent studies have shown CWD has the ability to provide a large proportion of nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus required for live tree growth. Black spruce forests are typically the most nutrient limited of all boreal ecosystems which may elevate the importance of CWD. The black spruce forests of the claybelt region in Quebec and Ontario are prone to paludification. This is a process where litter accumulates, moss growth prevents regeneration, an increase in the water table and a decrease in the rate of litter decomposition. Our study objectives are to 1) determine the volume and decay stage of CWD across a successional gradient of black spruce stands, 2) determine the decay rate of CWD along the successional gradient, 3) determine the rate or nutrient release from CWD and 4) examine the role of CWD in black spruce ecosystems. We studied a chronosequence of 10 black spruce stands from 54 to 710 years old. In each stand we sampled cross sections of CWD and determining the time since death, amount of decay and nutrient content. Our preliminary analysis demonstrates that maximum volumes of CWD and highest decay rates are reached approximately 100 years after a stand replacing disturbance. Nutrient analysis is in progress and results will be presented. CWD is important for conserving biodiversity and has the potential to play critical roles in forest nutrient dynamics, making it an important consideration under ecosystem based management strategies.

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/nafecology/sessions/forest_detritus/6