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    Author(s): Noah J. Karberg; Neal A. Scott; Christian P. Giardina
    Date: 2008
    Source: In: Hoover, Coeli M., ed. Field measurements for forest carbon monitoring: A landscape-scale approach. New York, NY: Springer Science + Business Media: 103-111.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (171.46 KB)

    Description

    Litterfall in terrestrial ecosystems represents the primary pathway for nutrient return to soil. Heterotrophic metabolism, facilitated through comminution by small insects and leaching during precipitation events, results in the release of plant litter carbon as CO2 into the atmosphere. The balance between litter inputs and heterotrophic litter decomposition influences the amount of carbon stored in the forest floor. Periodic measurements of litterfall and litter decomposition with standard techniques will provide much needed information on carbon and nutrient cycling in forests. These available methods include mass balance, litterbags, tethered leaves, and the cohort layered screen.

    Publication Notes

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Karberg, Noah J.; Scott, Neal A.; Giardina, Christian P. 2008. Methods for estimating litter decomposition Chapter 8. In: Hoover, Coeli M., ed. Field measurements for forest carbon monitoring: A landscape-scale approach. New York, NY: Springer Science + Business Media: 103-111.

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