Influence of Stand Age, Micro-climate, and Litter Composition on the Decomposition of Ten Litter Types in White Spruce Plantation Forests in Nova Scotia, Canada
MetadataShow full item record
The influence of stand age, micro-climate and litter composition on calculated decomposition rates of litter types was determined to gain information regarding soil nutrient supply in white spruce plantation forests in Nova Scotia, Canada. The decomposition rates of ten litter types were calculated using the litterbag method in 12 sites, with results ranging from 0.19-0.82 year-1. Site quality was indicated to have less of an impact on decomposition rate than stand age. Principal component analysis determined decomposition rates are correlated to litter type and litter quality. PC1 (nutrient content) accounted for 46% of the variation in rates, while PC2 (chemical complexity) accounted for an additional 25%. Litter calcium, manganese, and nitrogen concentrations increased with time, while potassium and magnesium significantly decreased. Litter with low Klason lignin and low C:N ratios had faster decomposition rates, indicating that Klason lignin and C/N ratios are suitable predictors of rate.