Basal area effects on a short-term nutrient status of litter fall and needle litter decomposition in a Pinus densiflora stand Kim, Choonsig;
This study was conducted to examine litter fall, litter decomposition, and a short-term nutrient (C, N, P, K, Ca, and Mg) status for one year at various levels of basal area (21.4, 27.0, 30.8, 37.0, 42.1, and 46.7 m2 ha-1) in approximately 40-yearold red pine (Pinus densiflora S. et Z.) stands in the Hwangmaesan mountain forest in Korea. Monthly fluxes of litter fall components such as needles, broad leaves, branches, bark and total litter fall followed a similar pattern at various levels of basal area. Mean annual needle, bark and total litter fall fluxes were positively correlated with increased basal area (p<0.05), but the woody litter such as branches and cones was not correlated with basal area. Carbon and K concentrations of needle litter were negatively correlated with increased basal area, while nutrient (C, N, P, K, Ca, and Mg) fluxes were positively correlated with the basal area treatments. Remaining mass, N and P concentration and remaining N and P stocks in decomposing needle litter were not affected by the basal area. However, the concentration and stocks remaining of K, Ca, and Mg from decomposing litter were positively correlated with increased basal area during the initial three months of decomposition. The results indicate that basal area has an impact on nutrient cycles through change in litter fall and litter decomposition processes; thus, the dynamics of nutrient cycles based on a stand scale could differ considerably with different levels of basal area in red pine stands.
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