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): Terrell T. Baker; B. Graeme Lockaby; William H. Conner; Calvin E. Meier; John A. Stanturf
    Date: 2001
    Source: Soil Science Society of America Journal Volume 65, no. 4, July-August 2001
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: Download Publication  (691 KB)


    Decomposition of site-specific litter mixtures was monitored for 100 wk in four Roodplaht communities: (i) a mixed oak community along the Cache River in central Arkansas, (ii) a sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua L.)-cherrybark oak (Quercus falcata var. pagodaefolia Ell.) community along Iatt Creek in central Louisiana, (iii) a sweetgum-swamp tupelo [Nyssa sylvatica var. biflora (Walt.) Sarg.] community, and (iv) a laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia Michx.) community along the Coosawhatchie River in southeastern South Carolina. Soil temperature, hydroperiod, and litter quality (C:N, C:P, N:P, lignin:N) were used to interpret differences in the rates of mass loss and nutrient dynamics. After 100 wk, litter mixtures retained 33, 18, 8, and 5% of original mass on the Cache, Coosawhatchie (laurel oak community), Coosawhatchie (sweetgum-swamp tupelo community), and Iatt floodplains, respectively, and these differences appeared related to hydroperiod. Decay rates were comparable to rates reported in similar floodplain environments. Net mineralization of both N and P was observed after 100 wk, but both elements accumulated in litter mixtures periodically. Differences in hydroperiod were observed among the four floodplain communities and decomposition of and nutrient mineralization from litter among them appeared to be inversely related to the number and duration of flood events. Litterbags containing leaf litter of a single-species (i.e., cherrybark oak) were also monitored on three of the four sites to compare decay rates and nutrient dynamics with the litter mixtures. On the Cache River floodplain, slower decay of poorer quality cherrybark oak litter suggested that titter quality drove decomposition under similar edaphic conditions.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to 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.


    Baker, Terrell T., III; Lockaby, B. Graeme; Conner, William H.; Meier, Calvin E.; Stanturf, John A.; Burke, Marianne K. 2001. Leaf Litter Decomposition and Nutrient Dynamics in Four Southern Forested Floodplain Communities. Soil Science Society of America Journal Volume 65, no. 4, July-August 2001

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page