Methods for Dead Organic Matter: Deadwood and Litter

Part of the Advances in Global Change Research book series (AGLO, volume 29)

Dead organic matter consists of deadwood and litter. Stems and branches of deadwood 10 cm or larger in diameter form the deadwood pool and those smaller than that constitute litter (see Chapter 4 for a definition). Inclusion of dead organic matter pool makes the estimated changes in total carbon stock more accurate. Most of the biomass not harvested or burnt is added to the deadwood, litter and soil carbon pools. The dynamics of dead organic matter vary with the type of forest or plantation as well as with the purpose behind protecting a forest or raising a new forest. In fuelwood plantations or community forestry projects, the woody part of the dead organic matter is likely to be removed and used as fuelwood. However, in the case of avoided deforestation projects involving protection of forests, dead organic matter accumulates on the forest floor. Further, land-use change, particularly from forests and plantations to other land uses such as cropland or grassland, leads to complete loss of dead organic matter.


Litter Trap Dead Organic Matter Litter Biomass Permanent Sample Plot Total Carbon Stock 
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© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

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