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The Organic Matter and Nutrient Elements in the Precipitation Beneath a Sessile Oak (Quercus Petraea) Canopy

A. Carlisle, A. H. F. Brown and E. J. White
Journal of Ecology
Vol. 54, No. 1 (Mar., 1966), pp. 87-98
DOI: 10.2307/2257660
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2257660
Page Count: 12
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Organic Matter and Nutrient Elements in the Precipitation Beneath a Sessile Oak (Quercus Petraea) Canopy
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Abstract

The nutrient, carbon and energy contents of the incident rainfall above the tree canopy and of the throughfall beneath it were measured in a sessile oak (Quercus petraea) woodland on a siliceous site in a high rainfall (171 cm/annum) area. The nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sodium contents of the incident rainfall were 9.54, 0.43, 2.96, 7.30, 4.63 and 35.34 kg/ha/annum respectively; the contents of these elements in the throughfall were 8.82, 1.31, 28.14, 17.18, 9.36 and 55.55 kg/ha/annum respectively. The total amounts of these elements falling to the ground layer in the throughfall and litter were 49.88, 3.50, 38.65, 41.01, 13.23 and 57.22 kg/ha/annum respectively; the total energy content of the organic matter in the litter and throughfall was 21.11 × 106 kcal/ha/annum. Large amounts (67.80 kg/ha/month) of carbohydrate came down in the throughfall in August, consisting mainly of melezitose, a trisaccharide found in honeydew. 17.7% of the nitrogen, 37.4% phosphorus, 72.8% potassium, 41.9% calcium, 70.7% magnesium and 97.1% sodium in the litter + throughfall was present in the throughfall. Inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus were removed from the precipitation as it passed through the tree canopy, and there was evidence of a complex exchange system between the tree and the rainfall. Not all the materials added to the throughfall were necessarily leached from the leaf and branch tissue, but could have originated partly from compounds adsorbed on the plant surfaces.

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