Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
Summary Decomposition and changes in nutrient content of six litter types (leaves, sheaths, roots, twigs, and wood of bamboo, and grass shoots) were studied in nylon net bags for 2 years. The annual weight loss was (% of initial) bamboo leaves 56.5, bamboo sheaths 79.5, bamboo roots 65.8, bamboo twigs 49.6, bamboo wood 31.2, and grass shoots 74.9. Elemental mobility followed the order K〉Na〉C〉P〉Ca〉N in all components except wood. Generally, an initial increase was followed by a consistent decrease in the contents of N (leaves), P (leaves, roots, wood) and Ca (leaves, roots, grass), and Na (wood). Most of the nutrients were immobilized in the rainy season. C and K contents showed a constant decrease throughout the decomposition period. Materials with a greater C:N ratio (〉50) tended to accumulate more nutrients and retain them for longer, except for the bamboo twigs. The critical C:N ratio (at which a net release of N occured) for the leaf material was 25. Litter components with more initial N (sheaths) showed greater weight loss than those with less N (leaves, twigs, and wood). Overall, N and P were lost at the slowest rates while C and K were lost at faster rates. Initial lignin, lignin: N, C:N and C concentrations had a better predictive value for annual weight loss and nutrient release in bivariate relationships. A combination of the initial lignin value and the C: N ratio explained 93% of the variation in annual weight loss. A significant relationship was also observed between the annual weight loss rate and the nutrient mineralization/release rate.
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