Skip to Main Content
Due to a lapse in federal funding, this USDA website will not be actively updated. Once funding has been reestablished, online operations will continue.
Quantitative and qualitative measures of decomposition: is there a link?Author(s): Robert J. Eaton; Felipe G. Sanchez
Source: South. J. Appl. For., Vol. 33(3): 137-142
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
PDF: View PDF (254.26 KB)
DescriptionDecomposition rates of loblolly pine coarse woody debris (CWD) were determined by mass loss and wood density changes for trees that differed in source of mortality (natural, girdle-poison, and felling). Specifically, three treatments were examined: (1) control (CON): natural mortality; (2) CD: 5-fold increase in CWD compared with the CON; and (3) CS: 12-fold increase in snags compared with the CON. The additional CWD in the CD treatment plots and the additional snags in the CS plots were achieved by felling (for the CD plots) or girdling followed by herbicide injection (for the CS plots) select trees in these plots. Consequently, mortality on the CD plots is due to natural causes and felling. Likewise, mortality on the CS plots is due to natural causes and girdle-poison. In each treatment plot, mortality due to natural causes was inventoried since 1997, whereas mortality due to girdle-poison and felling were inventoried since 2001. No significant difference was detected between the rates of decomposition for the CWD on these treatment plots, indicating that source of the tree mortality did not influence rates of decomposition once the tree fell. These experimental measures of decomposition were compared with two decay classification systems (three- and five-unit classifications) to determine linkages. Changes in wood density did not correlate to any decay classification, whereas mass loss had a weak correlation with decay class. However, the large degree of variation limits the utility of decay classification systems in estimating mass loss.
- You may send email to email@example.com 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.
CitationEaton, Robert J.; Sanchez, Felipe G. 2009. Quantitative and qualitative measures of decomposition: is there a link?. South. J. Appl. For., Vol. 33(3): 137-142
Keywordsdecay class, loblolly pine, coarse woody debris
- Long-term dead wood changes in a Sierra Nevada mixed conifer forest: habitat and fire hazard implications
- Soricid response to coarse woody debris manipulations in Coastal Plain loblolly pine forests.
- Snag characteristics and dynamics following natural and artificially induced mortality in a managed loblolly pine forest
XML: View XML