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    Author(s): Travis W. Idol; Phillip E. Pope; Rebecca A. Figler; Felix Ponder Jr.
    Date: 1999
    Source: 12th Central hardwood forest conference; 1999 February 28. Gen. Tech. Rep. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station: 60-67. (1999)
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: North Central Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (2.43 MB)


    Coarse woody debris is an important component influencing forest nutrient cycling and contributes to long-term soil productivity. The common practice of classifying coarse woody debris into different decomposition classes has seldom been related to the chemistry/biochemistry of the litter, which is the long term objective of our research. The objective of this preliminary study was to measure the volume, mass and nutrient content of the different decay classes of the down dead wood(DDW) component of coarse woody debris in upland hardwood stands of different ages. Three oak-hickory stands in southern Indiana: aged 1, 31, and 80-100 years since harvest were chosen for this study. Volume, mass, and C, N, S, and P content were determined on DDW from each decay stage in each stand. Results show that there is a large decrease in DDW volume and mass from recently harvested stands to more mature stands. The dominant decay stage shifts from Class II in the 1 year-old stand to Class III in the 31 year-old stand. The decay stages also have significantly different DDW density and C:N ratios, but only if outer and inner woody material are separated. The decomposition classes used to distinguish DDW correspond to distinguishable stages of DDW decay, as indicated by different C:N ratios and wood densities. The outer woody material seems to decay more quickly than the inner material, which is likely due to lower initial C:etement ratios. Further work is needed in order to relate these patters of coarse woody debris decay to nutrient mineralization and immobilization patterns.

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    Idol, Travis W.; Pope, Phillip E.; Figler, Rebecca A.; Ponder Jr., Felix. 1999. Characterization of coarse woody debris across a 100 year chronosequence of upland oak-hickory forest. 12th Central hardwood forest conference; 1999 February 28. Gen. Tech. Rep. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station: 60-67. (1999)


    coarse woody debris, oak-hickory forest, decay, hardwood stands

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