, Volume 203, Issue 1–2, pp 45–52 | Cite as

Litterfall, leaf decomposition and litter colonization of Tessaria integrifolia (compositae) in the Parana river floodplain

  • Juan José Neiff
  • Alicia Poi de Neiff


Litterfall and leaf decomposition rates were measured in Choui Island, 45 km downstream from the confluence of the Paraná and Paraguay rivers. The material was collected biweekly from April 1985 through September 1986. Decomposition was measured in situ by the litter bag technique.

Annual litterfall of Tessaria integrifolia gallery forest measured in the period April 1985 to March 1986 was 8.15 t ha-1. Leaf litterfall was seasonal, i.e. significantly less leaf litter was shed during the high water phase than during the low water phase. The ‘half life’ of the T. integrifolia litter over 38 days of decomposition was 20 days. At the beginning of the experiment, 15 and 38 days subsamples of remaining detritus were analyzed in order to determine changes in the nutrient content. After 38 days of incubation, the order of nutrient disappearance was Ca > K > N > Mg > Na > P.

The number of invertebrates per g remaining litter of Tessaria integrifolia increased between incubations days 7 and 31. Collector-gatherers were more abundant after 38 days incubation; there were no shredders colonizing the leaf litter bags.

Key words

litterfall decomposition Tessaria integrifolia invertebrate colonization Parana river 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan José Neiff
    • 1
  • Alicia Poi de Neiff
    • 1
  1. 1.Centro de Ecología Aplicada del LitoralCorrientesArgentina

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