Skip to Main Content
Urbanization effects on leaf litter decomposition, foliar nutrient dynamics and aboveground net primary productivity in the subtropicsAuthor(s): Heather A. Enloe; B. Graeme Lockaby; Wayne C. Zipperer; Greg L. Somers
Source: Urban Ecosyst
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Southern Research Station
View PDF (619.0 KB)
DescriptionUrbanization can alter nutrient cycling. This research evaluated how urbanization affected nutrient dynamics in the subtropics. We established 17–0.04 ha plots in five different land cover types—slash pine (Pinus elliottii) plantations (n=3), rural natural pine forests (n= 3), rural natural oak forests (n=4), urban pine forests (n=3) and urban oak forests (n=4) in the Florida panhandle, a subtropical region that has experienced rapid urbanization. On each plot, we measured the decomposition of mixed species foliar litter, the nutrient release patterns in decomposing litter, foliar litter quality, and forest floor temperatures. Aboveground net primary productivity and soil carbon and nitrogen contents were also measured to characterize the carbon and nitrogen stocks and fluxes in the urban and rural sites. Litter decay rates, liter quality indices and nutrient release patterns in decomposing litter did not differ among urban and rural forests despite differences in forest floor temperatures between urban and rural sites. Urban forest floor temperatures are on average warmer by 0.63 °C in the winter (p=0.005) and tend to have a more narrow temperature range than those of the rural forested sites. Foliar mass was measured over an 82 week period that was characterized by drought, which may have masked an urbanization effect. Urban forest land covers had higher aboveground net primary productivity and foliar productivity compared to rural land covers. This increased input of foliar carbon is not reflected in statistically different forest floor or surface soil (0–7.5 cm) carbon contents between urban and rural sites. Understanding how drought interacts with other drivers of change in urban systems may be a necessary component of city specific ecological knowledge.
- 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.
CitationEnloe, Heather A.; Lockaby, B. Graeme; Zipperer, Wayne C.; Somers, Greg L. 2015. Urbanization effects on leaf litter decomposition, foliar nutrient dynamics and aboveground net primary productivity in the subtropics. Urban Ecosyst. 19 pages. 10.1007/s11252-015-0444-x
KeywordsDecomposition, Litter quality, Urbanization, Net primary productivity, Soil carbon, Forest
- Urbanization effects on soil nitrogen transformations and microbial biomass in the subtropics
- Nitrogen and Phosphorus Use Efficiency in Stands of Loblolly and Slash Pine
- An Old-Growth Definition for Tropical and Subtropical Forests in Florida
XML: View XML