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Forests 2014, 5(10), 2561-2580; doi:10.3390/f5102561

Seasonal Pattern of Decomposition and N, P, and C Dynamics in Leaf litter in a Mongolian Oak Forest and a Korean Pine Plantation

1
Department of Forest Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-921, Korea
2
Division of Special-purpose Trees, Korea Forest Research Institute, Suwon 441-847, Korea
3
Department of Environment and Forest Resources, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 305-764, Korea
4
School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511, USA
5
Department of Landscape Architecture, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-921, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 August 2014 / Revised: 17 October 2014 / Accepted: 17 October 2014 / Published: 23 October 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nitrogen and Phosphorus Nutrition of Trees and Forests)
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Abstract

Distinct seasons and diverse tree species characterize temperate deciduous forests in NE Asia, but large areas of deciduous forests have been converted to conifer plantations. This study was conducted to understand the effects of seasons and tree species on leaf litter decomposition in a temperate forest. Using the litterbag method, the decomposition rate and nitrogen, phosphorous, and carbon dynamics of Mongolian oak (Quercus mongolica), Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis), and their mixed leaf litter were compared for 24 months in a Mongolian oak stand, an adjacent Korean pine plantation, and a Mongolian oak—Korean pine mixed stand. The decomposition rates of all the leaf litter types followed a pattern of distinct seasonal changes: most leaf litter decomposition occurred during the summer. Tree species was less influential on the leaf litter decomposition. The decomposition rates among different leaf litter types within the same stand were not significantly different, indicating no mixed litter effect. The immobilization of leaf litter N and P lasted for 14 months. Mongolian oak leaf litter and Korean pine leaf litter showed different N and P contents and dynamics during the decomposition, and soil P2O5 was highest in the Korean pine plantation, suggesting effects of plantation on soil nutrient budget. View Full-Text
Keywords: temperate deciduous forest; mixed leaf litter effect; soil nutrients; leaf litter nutrients; mineralization temperate deciduous forest; mixed leaf litter effect; soil nutrients; leaf litter nutrients; mineralization
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Sohng, J.; Han, A.R.; Jeong, M.-A.; Park, Y.; Park, B.B.; Park, P.S. Seasonal Pattern of Decomposition and N, P, and C Dynamics in Leaf litter in a Mongolian Oak Forest and a Korean Pine Plantation. Forests 2014, 5, 2561-2580.

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