Canadian Forest Service Publications

Litter-fall and decomposition in harvested and un-harvested boreal forests. 2012. Moroni, M.; Zhu, X. The Forestry Chronicle 88(5): 613-621

Year: 2012

Issued by: Atlantic Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 35422

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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Litter fall and litter decomposition were examined in harvested and unharvested western Newfoundland balsam fir (Abies balsamea) and black spruce (Picea mariana) forests. Rates of litterfall in mature 70-year-old forests were 2.4 to 3.5 Mg ha-1 year-1, which was reduced to 0.2 to 0.3 Mg ha-1 year-1 following harvesting. In contrast, rates of black spruce needle, balsam fir needle, fine (<2 mm diameter) root, and moss (dominated by feather moss) litter decomposition were not affected by forest harvesting at either site during 24 to 54 months of field incubation in litterbags. Mass loss of balsam fir needle, black spruce needle, and moss (dominated by feather moss) were not significantly different indicating that moss forms a labile litter type in a forested setting.