Advanced SearchSearch Tips
Decomposition of leaf litter of some evergreen broadleaf trees in Korea
facebook(new window)  Pirnt(new window) E-mail(new window) Excel Download
 Title & Authors
Decomposition of leaf litter of some evergreen broadleaf trees in Korea
Lee, Kyung Eui; Cha, Sangsub; Lee, Sang Hoon; Shim, Jae Kuk;
  PDF(new window)
Litter decomposition is an important process in terrestrial ecosystem. However, studies on decomposition are rare, especially in evergreen broadleaf trees. We collected the leaf litter of five evergreen broadleaf trees (Daphniphyllum macropodum, Dendropanax morbifera, Castanopsis cuspidata var. thunbergii, Machilus thunbergii and Quercus acuta), and carried out a decomposition experiment using the litterbag method in Ju-do, Wando-gun, Korea for 731 days from December 25, 2011 to December 25, 2013. Among the five experimental tree species, C. cuspidata var. thunbergii distribution was limited in Jeju Island, and D. macropodum was distributed at the highest latitude at Mt. Baekyang (N 35°40′). About 2% of the initial litter mass of D. macropodum and D. morbifera remained, while 20.9% remained for C. cuspidata var. thunbergii, 30.4% for M. thunbergii, and 31.6% for Q. acuta. D. macropodum litter decayed four times faster (k = 2.02 yr-1) than the litter of Q. acuta (k = 0.58 yr-1). The decomposition of litter was positively influenced by thermal climate such as accumulated mean daily air temperature (year day index) and precipitation, as well as by physical characteristics such as thickness (R2=0.939, P = 0.007) and specific leaf area (SLA) (R2 = 0.964, P = 0.003). The characteristics of chemical composition such as lignin (R2 = 0.939, P = 0.007) and water-soluble materials (R2 = 0.898, P = 0.014) showed significant correlations with litter decomposition. However, the nutrients in litter showed complicated species-specific trends. The litter of D. macropodum and D. morbifera had fast decomposition despite their low nitrogen concentration and high C/N ratio. This means that the litter decomposition was more strongly affected by physical characteristics than chemical composition and nutrient content. On the other hand, the litter of Q. acuta which had the slowest decay rate had a high amount of N and low C/N ratio. Thus, the decomposition of Q. acuta litter was more affected by the P content of the litter than the N content, although all litter had similar physical characteristics.
decomposition;decomposition constant;evergreen broadleaf;leaf litter;physico-chemical effects;
 Cited by
Aerts R, Chapin FS III. 2000. The mineral nutrition of wild plants revisited: a re-evaluation of processes and patterns. Adv Ecol Res 30: 1-67.

Aerts R, De Caluwe H. 1997. Nutritional and plant mediated controls on leaf litter decomposition of Carex species. Ecology 78: 244-260. crossref(new window)

Allen SE, Grimshaw HM, Parkinson JA, Quarmby CL. 1974. Chemical analysis of ecological materials. Blackwell Scientific Publications, London, pp 245-247.

Austin AT, Vitousek PM. 1998. Nutrient dynamics on a precipitation gradient in Hawai’i. Oecologia 113: 519- 529. crossref(new window)

Austin AT, Vivanco L. 2006. Plant litter decomposition in a semi-arid ecosystem controlled by photodegradation. Nature 442: 555-558. crossref(new window)

Berg B, Berg MP, Bottner P, Box E, Breymeyer A, de Anta RC, Couteaux M, Escudero A, Gallardo A, Kratz W, Madeira M, Mälkönen E, Mcclaugherty C, Meentemeyer V, Muñoz F, Piussi P, Remacle J, De Santo AV. 1993. Litter mass loss rates in pine forests of Europe and Eastern United States: some relationships with climate and litter quality. Biogeochemistry 20: 127-159. crossref(new window)

Berg B, Lundmark JE. 1987. Decomposition of needle litter in lodgepole pine and Scots pine monocultural systems – A comparison. Scand J For Res 2: 3-12. crossref(new window)

Bollen WB. 1953. Mulches and soil conditioners, Carbon and nitrogen in farm and forest products. J Agric Food Chem 7: 379-381. crossref(new window)

Chang NK, Han SE. 1985. A study on the production and decomposition of litters of evergreen broadleaved forests in Haenam and Koje-do. Korean J Ecol 8: 163-169.

Chen X, Wei X, Scherer R. 2005. Influence of wildfire and harvest on biomass, carbon pool, and decomposition of large woody debris in forested streams of southern interior British Columbia. For Ecol Manag 208: 101-114. crossref(new window)

Cotrufo MF, Briones MJI, Ineson P. 1998. Elevated CO2 affects field decomposition rate and palatability of tree leaf litter: Importance of changes in substrate quality. Soil Biol Biochem 30: 1565-1571. crossref(new window)

Coûteaux MM, Bottner P, Berg B. 1995. Litter decomposition, climate and litter quality. Trends Ecol Evol 10: 63-66. crossref(new window)

Cunha-Santino MBD, Pacobahyba LD, Bianchini Jr I. 2003. Changes in the amount of soluble carbohydrates and polyphenols contents during decomposition of Montrichardia arborescens (L.) Schott. Acta Amazonica 33: 469-476. crossref(new window)

Fioretto A, Di Nardo C, Papa S, Fuggi A. 2005. Lignin and cellulose degradation and nitrogen dynamics during decomposition of three leaf litter species in a Mediterranean ecosystem. Soil Biol Biochem 37: 1083-1091. crossref(new window)

Fogel R, Cromack Jr K. 1977. Effect of habitat and substrate quality on Douglas fir litter decomposition in western Oregon. Can J Bot 55: 1632-1640. crossref(new window)

Gallardo A, Merino J. 1992. Nitrogen immobilization in leaf litter at two Mediterranean ecosystems of SW Spain. Biogeochemistry 15: 213-228. crossref(new window)

Garrett LG, Kimberley MO, Oliver GR, Pearce SH, Beets PN. 2012. Decomposition of coarse woody roots and branches in managed Pinus radiata plantations in New Zealand – A time series approach. For Ecol Manag 269: 116-123. crossref(new window)

Gessner MO. 1991. Differences in processing dynamics of fresh and dried leaf litter in a stream ecosytem. Freshw Biol 26: 387-398. crossref(new window)

Han YS. 2014. A study on carbon distribution and budget of dominant plant community in Gotjawal, Jeju Island. MS Thesis. Kongju University, Gongju, South Korea.

Heal OW, Anderson JM, Swift MJ. 1997. Plant litter quality and decomposition: an historical overview. In:Driven by Nature: Plant Litter Quality and Decomposition (Cadisch G, Giller KE, eds). CAB International, Wallingford, pp 3-32.

Helrich KC. 1990. Official methods of Analysis of the AOAC Association of Official Analytical Chemists Inc. Arlington, VA.

Hobbie SE. 1996. Temperature and plants species control over litter decomposition in Alaskan tundra. Ecol Monogr 66: 503-522. crossref(new window)

Klotzbücher T, Kaiser K, Guggenberger G, Gatzek C, Kalbitz K. 2011. A new conceptual model for the fate of lignin in decomposing plant litter. Ecology 92: 1052-1062. crossref(new window)

Koukoura Z, Mamolos AP, Kalburtji KL. 2003. Decomposition of dominant plant species litter in a semi-arid grassland. Appl Soil Ecol 23: 13-23. crossref(new window)

Lamlom SH, Savidge RA. 2003. A reassessment of carbon content in wood: variation within and between 41 North American species. Biomass Bioenergy 25: 381-388. crossref(new window)

Lim SM, Cha SS, Shim JK. 2011. Effects of simulated acid rain on microbial activities and litter decomposition. J Ecol Field Biol 34: 401-410. crossref(new window)

Meentemeyer V. 1978. Macroclimate and lignin control of litter decomposition rates. Ecology 59: 465-472. crossref(new window)

Melillo JM, Aber JD, Muratore JF. 1982. Nitrogen and lignin control of hardwood leaf litter decomposition dynamics. Ecology 63: 621-626. crossref(new window)

Millar CS. 1974. Decomposition of coniferous leaf litter. In:Biology of plant litter decomposition. (Dickinson C H, Pugh G J F, eds). Academic press, London and New York, pp 105-128.

Moretto AS, Distel RA, Didoné NG. 2001. Decomposition and nutrient dynamic of leaf litter and roots from palatable and unpalatable grasses in a semi-arid grassland. Appl Soil Ecol 18: 31-37. crossref(new window)

Olson JS. 1963. Energy Storage and the Balance of Producers and Decomposers in Ecological Systems. Ecology 44: 322-331. crossref(new window)

Polyakova O, Billor N. 2007. Impact of deciduous tree species on litterfall quality, decomposition rates and nutrient circulation in pine stands. For Ecol Manage 253: 11-18. crossref(new window)

Ribeiro C, Madeira M, Arau´jo MC. 2002. Decomposition and nutrient release from leaf litter of Eucalyptus globules grown under different water and nutrient regimes. For Ecol Manag 171: 31-41. crossref(new window)

Rowland AP, Roberts JD. 1994. Lignin and cellulose fractionation in decomposition studies using acid-detergent fibre methods. Commun Soil Sci Plant Anal 25: 269-277. crossref(new window)

Sariyildiz T, Anderson JM. 2003. Interactions between litter quality, decomposition and soil fertility: a laboratory study. Soil Biol Biochem 35: 391-399. crossref(new window)

Saura-Mas S, Estiarte M, Penuelas J, Lloret F. 2012. Effects of climate change on leaf litter decomposition across post-fire plant regenerative groups. Environ Exp Bot 77: 274-282. crossref(new window)

Silver WL, Miya RK. 2001. Global patterns in root decomposition: comparisons of climate and litter quality effects. Oecologia 129: 407-419. crossref(new window)

Singh KP, Singh PK, Tripathi SK. 1999. Litterfall, litter decomposition and nutrient release patterns in four native tree species raised on coal mine spoil at Singrauli, India. Biol Fertil Soils 29: 371-378. crossref(new window)

Sundarapandian SM, Swamy PS. 1999. Litter production and leaf-litter decomposition of selected tree species in tropical forests at Kodayar in Western Ghats, India. For Ecol Manag 123: 231-244. crossref(new window)

Swift MJ, Heal OW, Anderson JM. 1979. Decomposition in terrestrial ecosystems. University of California Press, Oakland, CA.

Tateno R, Tokuchi N, Yamanaka N, Du S, Otsuki K, Shimamura T, Xue Z, Wang S, Hou Q. 2007. Comparison of litterfall production and leaf litter decomposition between an exotic black locust plantation and an indigenous oak forest near Yan’an on the Loess Plateau, China. Forest Ecol Manage 241: 84–90. crossref(new window)

Van Vuuren MMI, Berendse F, De Visser W. 1993. Species and site differences in the decomposition of litters and roots from wet heathlands. Can J Bot 71: 167-173. crossref(new window)

Vitousek PM, Turner DR, Parton WJ, Sanford RL. 1994. Litter decomposition on the Mauna Loa environmental matrix, Hawai’i: patterns, mechanisms, and models. Ecology 75: 418-429. crossref(new window)

Wang Q, Wang S, Huang Y. 2008. Comparisons of litterfall, litter decomposition and nutrient return in a monoculture Cunninghamia lanceolata and a mixed stand in southern China. For Ecol Manag 255: 1210–1218. crossref(new window)

Wieder WR, Cleveland CC, Townsend AR. 2009. Controls over leaf litter decomposition in wet tropical forests. Ecology 90: 3333-3341. crossref(new window)

Won HY, Kim DK, Lee KJ, Park SB, Choi JS, Mun HT. 2014. Long term decomposition and nutrients dynamics of Quercus mongolica and Pinus densiflora leaf litter in Mt. Worak National Park. Korean J Environ Ecol 28: 566-573. crossref(new window)

Yang FF, Li YL, Zhou GY, Wenigmann KO, Zhang DQ, Wenigmann M, Liu SZ, Zhang QM. 2010. Dynamics of coarse woody debris and decomposition rates in an old-growth forest in lower tropical China. For Ecol Manag 259: 1666-1672. crossref(new window)

Yang KC. 1995. Studies on litter decomposition and nutrient release in some three spacies. MS Thesis. Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea.

Yim YJ, Kira T. 1975. Distribution of forest vegetation and climate in the Korea peninsula; I. Distribution of some indices of thermal climate. Jap J Ecol 25: 77-88.

Yim YJ, Lee WC. 1976. On the vegetations of Judo and Gamagseum. J Plant Biol 19: 49-61.

Zimmer M. 2002. Is decomposition of woodland leaf litter influenced by its species richness?. Soil Biol Biochem 34: 277-284. crossref(new window)