Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Jess K. Zimmerman; William M. Pulliam; D. Jean Lodge; Vanessa Quinones-Orfila; Ned Fetcher; Sandra Guzman-Grajales; John A. Parrotta; Clyde E. Asbury; Lars R. Walker; Robert B. Waide
    Date: 1995
    Source: Oikos
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: Download Publication  (415.0 KB)

    Description

    Following damage caused by Hurricane Hugo (September 1989) we monitored inorga­nic nitrogen availability in soil twice in 1990, leaf area index in 1991 and 1993, and litter production from 1990 through 1992 in subtropical wet forest of eastem Puerto Rico. Experimental removal of litter and woody debris generated by the hurricane (plus any standing stocks present before the hurricane) increased soil nitrogen availability and above-ground productivity by as much as 40% compared to unmanipulated contro! plots. These increases were similar to those created by quarterly fertilization with inorganic nutrients. Approximately 85% of hurricane-generated debris was woody debris >5 cm diameter. Thus, it appeared that woody debris stimulated nutrient immobilization, resulting in depression of soil nitrogen availability and productivity in contro! plots. This was further suggested by simulations of an ecosystem model (CENTURY) calibrated for our site that indicated that only the Iarge wood component of hurricane-generated debris was of sufficiently low quality and of great enough mass to cause the observed effects on productivity. The model predicted thai nutrient immobilization by decaying wood should suppress net primary productivity for 13 yr and total live biomass for almost 30 yr following the hurricane. Our findings emphasize the substantial influence that woody debris has upon nutrient cycling and productivity in forest ecosystems through its effects on the activity of decomposers. We suggest that the manner in which woody debris regulates ecosystem function in different forests is significantly affected by disturbance regime.

    Publication Notes

    • 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.

    Citation

    Zimmerman, Jess K.; Pulliam, William M.; Lodge, D. Jean ; Quinones-Orfila, Vanessa; Fetcher, Ned; Guzman-Grajales, Sandra; Parrotta, John A.; Asbury, Clyde E.; Walker, Lars R.; Waide, Robert B. 1995. Nitrogen immobilization by decomposing woody debris and the recovery of tropical wet forest from hurricane disturbance. Oikos 72: 314-322.

    Keywords

    Nitrogen cycling, decomposition, tropical forest, hurricane disturbance, Puerto Rico, Luquillo Experimental Forest

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/50780