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Late stage pine litter decomposition: Relationship to litter N, Mn, and acid unhydrolyzable residue (AUR) concentrations and climatic factors
Department of Forest Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, Ås, Norway.
University of Gävle.
Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
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2015 (English)In: Forest Ecology and Management, ISSN 0378-1127, E-ISSN 1872-7042, Vol. 358, 41-47 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this paper is to evaluate relationships between decomposition rates of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) and lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. contorta) needle litter in the late stage of decomposition (>30% accumulated mass loss), and the progressively changing concentrations of manganese (Mn), nitrogen (N), and acid unhydrolyzable residue (AUR), as well as mean annual temperature (MAT) and mean annual precipitation (MAP). Using available long-term decomposition studies on pine needle litter in a climate gradient in Sweden, we calculated annual mass loss and related to concentrations of Mn, N, and AUR at the start of each one-year period as well as to MAT and MAP. We investigated these relationships for (i) all data on annual mass loss combined and (ii) annual mass loss for five different decomposition categories as defined by accumulated mass loss. We found highly significant, negative, and dominant relationships between annual mass loss and N (R2=0.39) and AUR (R2=0.39), a slight but significant positive relationship to Mn (R2=0.08) and a significant negative relationship to MAT (R2=0.06). The relationships were dynamic, and changed with accumulated mass loss. The rate-dampening effect of N decreased to be a rate-enhancing effect at c. 60-80% accumulated mass loss. A similar trend was found for AUR, becoming rate-enhancing at 70-80% accumulated mass loss. For Scots pine needle litter the effect of MAT on mass loss decreased with increasing accumulated mass loss and changed to a rate-dampening effect at c. 50-70% accumulated mass loss. Mn showed a stimulating effect on mass loss rate in all categories whereas MAP showed no effect in this mainly boreal climatic gradient. The current approach indicates a method for detailed studies of rate-regulating factors for litter decomposition. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 358, 41-47 p.
Keyword [en]
Acid unhydrolyzable residue, Decomposition, Late stage, Manganese, Nitrogen, Plant litter, Climate change, Forestry, Needles, Climatic gradients, Decomposition rate, Litter decomposition, Mean annual precipitation, Mean annual temperatures, Stimulating effects, Pinus contorta, Pinus sylvestris
National Category
Forest Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-20326DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2015.08.032ISI: 000364612500004ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84941123173OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-20326DiVA: diva2:856304
Available from: 2015-09-23 Created: 2015-09-23 Last updated: 2016-01-11Bibliographically approved

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Johansson, Maj-Britt
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