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    Author(s): Michael C. Demchik; William E. Sharpe
    Date: 2004
    Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-73. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 154-159
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: View PDF  (687 KB)

    Description

    Previous research has shown that decomposition of organic matter is slower in soils with high levels of soil acidity and available aluminum (Al). The objective of this experiment was to determine if differences in decomposition rates of northern red oak leaves occurred between extremely acidic and less acidic sites that also differed in oak mortality. Leaf litter from red oaks on high and low acidity soils was reciprocally transplanted into both high and low acidity sites. After one growing season, neither site of decomposition or leaf origin had a significant effect on the rate of decomposition. Litter that decomposed in low acidity stands tended to lose more calcium (Ca) and sodium (Na) and gain more phospho-rus (P) than litter that decomposed in high acidity stands. Litter with origins in the low mortality stands tended to lose more potassium (K) and gain more P and zinc (Zn) than litter with origins in the high mortality stands. The stand with the highest oak mortality did not have the highest rate of decomposition indicating that soil acidity (low Ca/Al ratio) may have operated to reduce decomposition at that site.

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    Citation

    Demchik, Michael C.; Sharpe, William E. 2004. Litter Decomposition in Low and High Mortality Northern Red Oak Stands on Extremely Acidic Southwestern Pennsylvania Soils. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-73. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 154-159

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