Influence of canopy removal in oak forest floor decomposition

Yin Xiwei Yin, Jim A Perry, R. K. Dixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Compared leaf and forest floor mass loss rates over 2 yr on undisturbed (NC), shelterwood-cut (SCO), and clear-cut (CC) sites in a Quercus forest in the Hardie's Creek Forest, Wisconsin. SCO and NC variables did not differ until final harvest on SOO (creating SC1). Over a 6-month period, 19% of initial cellulose (filter disk) mass was lost from litterbags placed on SC1 compared with 71% on NC. Leaf mass loss from litterbags was consistently slower on CC than on NC. Rates of mass loss to the upper (01) and lower (02) forest floor horizons in 1985 and total forest floor mass loss rate in both years did not differ among sites; mass loss rate for 01 was lower on CC than on NC, but higher for 02 in 1986. Differences in mass loss rates between CC and NC were attributed to changes in environment (ambient temperature and water content of the soil and forest floor) that were induced by clear-cutting. Effects of canopy removal on mass loss from leaf litter appear to vary with regional climatic variables, while effects on overall forest floor mass loss rate may be buffered by compensation among various forest floor horizons in most areas. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-214
Number of pages11
JournalCanadian Journal of Forest Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989


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