Litter production in forests of the world

J. Roger Bray, Eville Gorham

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In this chapter, the litter production in forests of the world is discussed. The study of quantitative aspects of litter–fall is an important part of forest ecology, dealing with a major pathway for both energy and nutrient transfer in ecosystem. This chapter collates the available data on the quantity of litter produced by forests in different parts of the world. It demonstrates the importance of litter–fall in the nutrient cycle of the forest, and the significance in soil development is investigated in the types of forest humus layer. Harvest methods are used to commercially utilize litter. The various sources, selection criteria, arrangement, and presentation of data are provided. The annual production of leaf and total litter by forests of the world are tabulated. The detailed litter separation components, percentage of non–leaf litter in different climates, understory litter, mineral material, and organic material are also described. Major factors affecting litter–fall are evergreen gymnosperms and deciduous angiosperms, and the environment. The proposed treatments for litter–fall are also discussed. The seasonal litter–fall of in forests is graphically represented and the dry weight of standing crops of leaves on an annual production basis is tabulated.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)101-157
Number of pages57
JournalAdvances in Ecological Research
StatePublished - 1964


  • Litterfall in forests
  • Woodland ecology

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