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Impacts Of Long-Term Prescribed Fire On Decomposition And Litter Quality In Uneven-Aged Loblolly Pine StandsAuthor(s): Michele L. Renschin; Hal O. Liechty; Michael G. Shelton
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS–48. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp 119-122
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionAbstract - Although fire has long been an important forest management tool in the southern United States, little is known concerning the effects of long-term fire use on nutrient cycling and decomposition. To better understand the effects of fire on these processes, decomposition rates, and foliage litter quality were quantified in a study investigating uneven-aged loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) management and prescribed fire in the Upper Coastal Plain of southern Arkansas. A portion of the study area had been burned on a 2 to 3-year cycle since 1981 while another portion of the study area had not been burned. Decomposition rates were determined by placing litterfall from each area into litterbags, installing these bags in the field within each area, and monitoring the litterfall weight loss over a 10-month period. Decomposition potential was determined using a cotton strip assay method. Foliar litter quality was evaluated by determining C, N, P, K, Mg, and Ca concentrations for samples collected from both treatments. Decomposition rate and potential were not significantly different in the burned and unburned areas. However, burning significantly affected foliar litter quality by increasing K, Ca, and Mg concentrations, but decreasing C. Decomposition rates and/or mass loss were significantly higher for foliar litterfall collected from the burned than unburned areas 0.5 months following placement of litterbags in the field.
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CitationRenschin, Michele L.; Liechty, Hal O.; Shelton, Michael G. 2002. Impacts Of Long-Term Prescribed Fire On Decomposition And Litter Quality In Uneven-Aged Loblolly Pine Stands. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS–48. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp 119-122
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