The aim of the study was to determine the water storage capacity and absorbability of deadwood of different tree species with varying degrees of decomposition. Coniferous (Silver fir—Abies alba
Mill.) and deciduous (Common hornbeam—Carpinus betulus
L., Common ash—Fraxinus excelsior
L., Common alder—Alnus glutinosa
Gaertn., and Common aspen—Populus tremula
L.) species were selected for the research. The study focuses on the wood of dead trees at an advanced stage of decomposition. Deadwood samples were collected at the Czarna Rózga Nature Reserve in central Poland. Changes over time of the water absorbability and water storage capacity of deadwood were determined under laboratory conditions. The research confirmed the significance of the wood species and the degree of wood decomposition in shaping the water storage capacity and absorbability of deadwood in forest ecosystems. Fir wood was characterized by having the highest water storage capacity and water absorbability. Among deciduous species under analysis, aspen wood was characterized by having the highest water storage capacity and absorbability. Our research has confirmed that deadwood may be a significant reservoir of water in forests.
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