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Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Joseph J. Hendricks; Carlos A. Wilson; Lindsay R. Boring
Publication Date: 2002

Foliar litter position and decomposition were assessed in longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) - wiregrass (Aristida beyrichiana Trin. & Rupr.) woodlands during a 3-year burn interval. Position assessments revealed 57.7 and 67.4% of foliar litter was elevated in wiregrass crowns 1 and 2 years, respectively, following burning. Decomposition assessments revealed soil-surface mass loss decay constants (range 0.097-0.282) similar to those measured in comparable pine forests. However, elevated longleaf pine and wiregrass litter exhibited decay constants (0.052 and 0.074, respectively) 50% lower than corresponding soil-surface rates and among the lowest values in the literature. With the exception of wiregrass, which did not exhibit an immobilization of the nutrients (N, P, Ca, K, and Mg) assessed, foliar litter exhibited either extensive P immobilization with minimal N immobilization or minimal, short-lived immobilization of N, P, or both N and P. The percentage of original N and P remaining after 3 years varied widely among the soil surface (N range 6.3-56.3%; P range 3.4-204.7%) and elevated (N range 76.8-94.9%; P range 52.0-99.2%) litter. These results suggest that fire regimes typically employed in longleaf pine-wiregrass woodlands may balance N losses via volatilization with P limitations via litter immobilization.

Online Links
Citation: Hendricks, Joseph J.; Wilson, Carlos A.; Boring, Lindsay R. 2002. Foliar litter position and decomposition in a fire-maintained longleaf pine - wiregrass ecosystem. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 32(6):928-941.

Cataloging Information

  • Aristida
  • Aristida beyrichiana
  • burning intervals
  • C - carbon
  • calcium
  • coastal plain
  • crowns
  • decay
  • decomposition
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • fire intensity
  • fire management
  • fire regimes
  • fire resistant plants
  • fire sensitive plants
  • fire-maintained forest ecosystems
  • foliage
  • foliar litter position
  • Georgia
  • grasslands
  • Joseph Jones Ecological Research Center
  • K - potassium
  • light
  • litter
  • litter decomposition
  • longleaf pine
  • magnesium
  • N - nitrogen
  • needles
  • nutrients
  • phosphorus
  • pine forests
  • Pinus
  • Pinus elliottii
  • Pinus palustris
  • Pteridium aquilinum
  • Quercus prinus
  • Rubus spp.
  • statistical analysis
  • Tephrosia virginiana
  • understory vegetation
  • volatilization
  • wiregrass
Tall Timbers Record Number: 14201Location Status: In-fileCall Number: Journals-CAbstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission
Record Last Modified:
Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 9854

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by Tall Timbers and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of Tall Timbers.