Mass Loss Measurements and Statistical Models to Predict Decomposition of Leaf Litter in a Boreal Aspen Forest
Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis
Taylor & Francis
In a southern boreal aspen forest located in Saskatchewan, Canada, we examined decomposition rates of leaf litter from trebling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.), hazel (Corylus cornuta March.), and a mixture of different species over a six-month period. Mass loss was measured in the field using the litter bag method. The greatest mass losses occurred during the first month regardless of litter type. On average, mass loss during the first 28 days was 3.2 g#lbkg-1#lbd-1 for the aspen leaves, 4.4 for hazel leaves and 4.9 for the mixture. The initial rapid loss of weight is attributed to leaching and decomposition of water soluble material. The decomposition rates of the leaf litter were related to water-soluble organic carbon and nitrogen content, and C:N ratio. Several models were used to describe mass loss of the aspen, hazel, and mixed leaf litter at the early stages of decomposition. A single model was not found to be appropriate to describe decomposition of all leaf-litter types. A second order model provided the best fit for the aspen litter decomposition, while the logarithmic model best described the decomposition of hazel and mixed leaf litter.
Huang, W. Z. and Schoenau, J.J., "Mass Loss Measurements and Statistical Models to Predict Decomposition of Leaf Litter in a Boreal Aspen Forest" (1997). Aspen Bibliography. Paper 1488.