Decomposition of aspen, spruce, and pine boles on two sites in Minnesota

D. H. Alban, J. Pastor

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137 Scopus citations


Boles of quaking aspen Populus tremuloides, white spruce Picea glauca, red pine Pinus resinosa and jack pine Pinus banksiana were sampled after decomposing for 11-17 yr. Density decreased 40-73%, and the decomposition constant (k) decreased in the order aspen > spruce > red pine > jack pine. Although the decomposition rate was strongly species-dependent, it did not differ between sites. The decomposition constant was weakly related to lignin and P concentration in the original stems, and not significantly related to original N concentrations. Nutrient concentration increased during decomposition, particularly for N and P. Nitrogen content increased during decomposition, and K content decreased. Phosphorus content increased or decreased, depending on species. In general, species with the lowest initial nutrient contents had the greatest nutrient increases during decomposition. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1744-1749
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Journal of Forest Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1993


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