Skip to Main Content
Biophysical controls on surface fuel litterfall and decomposition in the northern Rocky Mountains, USAAuthor(s): Robert E. Keane
Source: Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 38: 1431-1445.
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
PDF: View PDF (670 B)
DescriptionLitterfall and decomposition rates of the organic matter that comprise forest fuels are important to fire management, because they define fuel treatment longevity and provide parameters to design, test, and validate ecosystem models. This study explores the environmental factors that control litterfall and decomposition in the context of fuel management for several major forest types in the northern Rocky Mountains (Idaho and Montana), USA. Litterfall was measured for more than 10 years using semiannual collections of six fine fuel components (fallen foliage, twigs, branches, large branches, logs, and all other canopy material) collected from a network of 1m2 litterfall traps installed at 28 plots across seven sites. Decomposition of foliage, twigs, branches, and large branches were measured using litter bags installed on five of the seven sites. Measured litterfall and decomposition rates were correlated with major environmental and vegetation variables using regression analysis. Annual foliage litterfall rates ranged from 0.057kg·m-2·year-1 for dry Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex Laws. stands to 0.144kg·m-2·year-1 on mesic Thuja plicata Donn ex D. Don stands and were correlated with the vegetation characteristics of leaf area index, basal area, and tree height (r> 0.5), whereas decomposition rates were correlated with the environmental gradients of temperature and relative humidity (r> 0.4).
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationKeane, Robert E. 2008. Biophysical controls on surface fuel litterfall and decomposition in the northern Rocky Mountains, USA. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 38: 1431-1445.
Keywordssurface fuel litterfall, decomposition, northern Rocky Mountains, forest fuels, fire management
- Surface fuel litterfall and decomposition in the northern Rocky Mountains, U.S.A.
- Co-occurring species differ in tree-ring δ18O trends.
- Crown Recession Patterns in Three Conifer Species of the Northern Rocky Mountains
XML: View XML