Does forest removal increase rates of decomposition and nitrogen release?

  • Binkley D
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Little information is yet available concerning the effects of forest harvest on rates of decomposition and nutrient release. This study examines decomposition and nitrogen availability in adjacent cut and uncut sites by means of cellulose-filled litterbags and ion exchange resin bags located at three elevations on Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada. Cellulose weight loss was no greater in clear-cut than in uncut sites at the forest floor interface of litter and fragmented layers, but was 3 to 5 times greater at the interface of fragmented and humified layers and the interface of the humified layer and mineral soil. Resin-based estimates of nitrogen availability were 7 to 20 times greater in clear-cut sites. © 1984.

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  • Dan Binkley

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