Decomposition of Scots pine fine woody debris in boreal conditions : implications for estimating carbon pools and fluxes

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Vavrova , P , Penttilä , T & Laiho , R 2009 , ' Decomposition of Scots pine fine woody debris in boreal conditions : implications for estimating carbon pools and fluxes ' , Forest Ecology and Management , vol. 257 , no. 2 , pp. 401-412 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2008.09.017

Title: Decomposition of Scots pine fine woody debris in boreal conditions : implications for estimating carbon pools and fluxes
Author: Vavrova, Petra; Penttilä, Timo; Laiho, Raija
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences
University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences
Date: 2009
Language: eng
Number of pages: 12
Belongs to series: Forest Ecology and Management
ISSN: 0378-1127
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/27407
Abstract: "Litter quality and environmental effects on Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) fine woody debris (FWD) decomposition were examined in three forestry-drained peatlands representing different site types along a climatic gradient from the north boreal (Northern Finland) to south (Southern Finland) and hemiboreal (Central Estonia) conditions. Decomposition (percent mass loss) of FWD with diameter <= 10 mm (twigs) and FWD with diameter > 10 mm (branches) was measured using the litter bag method over 1-4-year periods. Overall, decomposition rates increased from north to south, the rate constants (k values) varying from 0.128 to 0.188 year(-1) and from 0.066 to 0.127 year(-1) for twigs and branches, respectively. On average, twigs had lost 34%, 19% and 19%, and branches 25%, 17% and 11% of their initial mass after 2 years of decomposition at the hemiboreal, south boreal and north boreal sites, respectively. After 4 years at the south boreal site the values were 48% for twigs and 42% for branches. Based on earlier studies, we suggest that the decomposition rates that we determined may be used for estimating Scots pine FWD decomposition in the boreal zone, also in upland forests. Explanatory models accounted for 50.4% and 71.2% of the total variation in FWD decomposition rates when the first two and all years were considered, respectively. The variables most related to FWD decomposition included the initial ash, water extractives and Klason lignin content of litter, and cumulative site precipitation minus potential evapotranspiration. Simulations of inputs and decomposition of Scots pine FWD and needle litter in south boreal conditions over a 60-year period showed that 72 g m(-2) of organic matter from FWD vs. 365 g m(-2) from needles accumulated in the forest floor. The annual inputs varied from 5.7 to 15.6 g m(-2) and from 92 to 152 g m(-2) for FWD and needles, respectively. Each thinning caused an increase in FWD inputs, Up to 510 g m(-2), while the needle inputs did not change dramatically. Because the annual FWD inputs were lowered following the thinnings, the overall effect of thinnings on C accumulation from FWD was slightly negative. The contribution of FWD to soil C accumulation, relative to needle litter, seems to be rather minor in boreal Scots pine forests. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved."
Subject: 411 Agriculture and forestry
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