Litter production, decomposition and nutrient mineralization dynamics of Ochlandra setigera: A rare bamboo species of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, India

Abstract

Litter production, decomposition and nutrient release dynamics of Ochlandra setigera, a rare endemic bamboo species of Nilgiri biosphere were studied during 2011–2012 using the standard litter bag technique. Annual litter production was 1.981 t·ha−1 and was continuous throughout the year with monthly variations. Litterfall followed a triphasic pattern with two major peaks in November, 2011 and January, 2012 and a minor peak in July, 2011. The rate of decomposition in O. setigera was a good fit to the exponential decay model of Olson (1963). Litter quality and climatic conditions of the study site (maximum temperature, monthly rainfall and relative humidity) influenced the rate of decomposition. Nutrient release from the decomposing litter mass was in rank order N = Mg > K = Ca > P. Nutrient release from litter was continuous and it was in synchrony with growth of new culms. Study of litter dynamics is needed before introduction of a bamboo species into degraded or marginal lands or Agroforestry systems.

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Correspondence to C. M. Jijeesh.

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Project funding: This study was financially supported by Kerala Forest Department

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Thomas, K., Jijeesh, C.M. & Seethalakshmi, K.K. Litter production, decomposition and nutrient mineralization dynamics of Ochlandra setigera: A rare bamboo species of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, India. Journal of Forestry Research 25, 579–584 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11676-014-0497-3

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Keywords

  • Ochlandra setigera
  • litter fall
  • litter decomposition
  • nutrient release
  • decomposition rate