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Mike R. Saunders (email), Shawn Fraver, Robert G. Wagner

Nutrient concentration of down woody debris in mixedwood forests in central Maine, USA

Saunders M.R., Fraver S., Wagner R.G. (2011). Nutrient concentration of down woody debris in mixedwood forests in central Maine, USA. Silva Fennica vol. 45 no. 2 article id 112. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.112

Abstract

Both nutrient concentrations and pre- and post-harvest pool sizes were determined across down woody debris decay classes of several hardwood and softwood species in a long-term, natural disturbance based, silvicultural experiment in central Maine. Concentrations of N, P, Ca, Mg, Cu, Fe, and Zn generally increased 2- to 5-fold with increasing decay class. Concentrations of Mn, Al and B did not differ among decay classes, while K decreased by 20–44% from decay class 1 to class 4. C:N-ratios declined with increasing decay class, while N:P-ratios increased from decay class 1 to 2 and then plateaued with further decay. Within decay classes, softwoods generally had lower nutrient concentrations and higher C:N-ratios than hardwoods; N:P-ratios did not differ between hardwoods and softwoods. Although gap harvesting increased the size of the overall down woody debris nutrient pools, mostly through a large pulse of decay class 1 material, harvesting generally reduced the nutrients held in advanced decay classes. Pre-harvest down woody debris pools for N, P, K and Ca were 11.0, 0.6, 2.1 and 21.1 kg ha–1, respectively, while postharvest were 20.0, 1.3, 6.2 and 46.2 kg ha–1, respectively. While the gap-based silvicultural systems sampled in this study doubled the size of the pre-harvest, downed woody debris nutrient pools, the post-harvest pools were estimated to be only 3.2–9.1% of aboveground nutrients.

Keywords
Acadian Forest; hardwoods; softwoods; carbon-nitrogen ratios; decay classes; disturbance-based silviculture

Author Info
  • Saunders, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University, 715 State Street, West Lafayette, IN, USA ORCID ID:E-mail msaunder@purdue.edu (email)
  • Fraver, USFS Northern Research Station, Grand Rapids, MN, USA ORCID ID:
  • Wagner, School of Forest Resources, University of Maine, Orono, ME, USA ORCID ID:

Received 17 November 2010 Accepted 11 May 2011 Published 31 December 2011

Available at https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.112 | Download PDF

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