Canadian Forest Service Publications
Litter decomposition, biomass, and nutrient concentration in western Newfoundland balsam fir forests. 2005. Moroni, M.T.; Smeaton, C.M.; Pike, B. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Atlantic Forestry Centre, Fredericton, N.B. Information Report M-X--217E. 23 p.
Issued by: Atlantic Forestry Centre
Catalog ID: 25364
Availability: PDF (download)
Balsam fir biomass was estimated in a chronosequence, aged 0 > 90 years, each within sites of good, medium, and poor quality, based on the Damman forest type classification system. Good and medium sites generally produced greater biomass than poor sites. Within good and poor quality sites aged 0–5 (clearcut) and 30–40 years, litter decomposition of balsam fir foliage, fine roots, herb shoots, shrub foliage, moss, and organic layer was measured after 1 and 2 years. Differences in decomposition between the good and poor sites, and between the clearcuts and the 30- to 40-year-old sites, varied with tissue type; there was no consistent trend in increased or decreased rates of decomposition with site quality or forest age. Litter decomposition was significantly higher in the first year; herb shoots and shrub foliage decomposed fastest, shrub twigs slowest. Balsam fir wood, branch, and coarse root decomposition was measured after 3 years only. Branch material decomposed significantly faster than wood or coarse root material, and rates of decomposition between sites for these tissues ranked: poor clearcut > good clearcut > good 30- to 40-year-old site > poor 30- to 40-year-old site. Overstorey and understorey tissue N and P concentrations were examined within a good and a poor 30- to 40-year-old site. Concentrations of N in overstorey, understorey, and forest floor tissue within the poor site were consistently lower than concentrations within the good site, indicating that the poor site was N deficient. There was no consistent trend with site quality for tissue P contents.