Climatic Influence on Litter Decomposition: Methods and Some Results of a NW- European Transect
A method for evaluating climatic influence on litter decomposition in the field is presented. The method is based on monitoring litter decomposition rates and simulating the soil moisture and temperature conditions. Litter bags with a unified substratum of Scots pine needles were used at 16 sites, differing in climate and other environmental conditions along a NW-European transect. The soil climate was simulated by a physically based model using meteorological data and information on vegetation and soil properties as input. Decomposition rates were related to response functions for temperature, moisture, actual transpiration and combinations of these variables, by linear regression, to quantity the role of the rate-regulating physical variables. Spatial variation in decomposition rates along the NW-European transect was best explained by corresponding variation in soil temperature or transpiration, while temporal variation was best explained by the response function combining temperature and soil water. The remaining unexplained variation was ascribed to differences in chemical and biological factors between sites.
KeywordsResponse Function Decomposition Rate Litter Decomposition Litter Decomposition Rate Water Tension
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- (1).Berg, B., Jansson, P-E., Olofsson, J. and Reurslag A. 1991. Climatic influence on litter decomposition along a N-W European transect. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Dept of Ecology and Environmental Research, Report 46. (in press)Google Scholar
- (2).Berg, B., Jansson, P-E. and McClaugherty, C. 1990. Litter mass-loss rates in North-Western Europe — Effects of Climate and substratum quality. In: Breymeyer A. (Ed.) Global Change. Regional Research Centres. Scientific problems and Concept Developments. Institute of Geography and spatial organization. Polish Academy of Sciences, Conference paper 6, 181 pp.Google Scholar
- (4).Berg, B., Ewertsson, A., Ferenczi, J., Holm, B., Jansson, P.E., Meentemeyer, V., Nyman, P., Staaf, H., and Staaf, I.1986. Data on needle litter decomposition and soil climate as well as site characteristics for some coniferous forest sites. 1st edition. Department of Ecology and Environmental Research. Report No. 22: 386 pp.Google Scholar
- (6).Jansson, P-E. & Halldin, S. 1979. Model for the annual water and energy flow in a layered soil. In: S. Halldin (ed.) Comparison of Forest and Energy Exchange Models. Society for Ecological Modelling, Copenhagen, 145–163.Google Scholar
- (7).Jansson, P-E. 1991. SOIL water and heat model, technical description. Internal paper from Soil Science Department, Swed. Univ. of Agricultural Sciences., 46 pp.Google Scholar
- (8).Jansson, P-E. 1989. Pgraph V1.0. User’s manual. Handelsbolaget J & C, Uppsala, 67 pp.Google Scholar