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Ecological Studies on Four Rainforests in Karnataka, India: II. Litterfall

S. N. Rai and J. Proctor
Journal of Ecology
Vol. 74, No. 2 (Jun., 1986), pp. 455-463
DOI: 10.2307/2260267
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2260267
Page Count: 9
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Ecological Studies on Four Rainforests in Karnataka, India: II. Litterfall
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Abstract

(1) Small litterfall was collected at monthly intervals for 2 years from traps in four rainforests in Karnataka, India. (2) The range of the mean annual total small litterfall was (in t ha-1 yr-1) 3.44-4.18 and that for leaf litterfall was 2.88-3.60. These are the lowest values recorded from evergreen tropical forest of large stature. (3) All the sites except one had a seasonality of litterfall with high weights during the dry season. (4) The chemical composition of the litterfall showed large differences between sites, particularly in phosphorus concentration which was very high in samples from two sites. Magnesium concentration was generally high and samples from two sites had the highest concentration of this element recorded from tropical forest litterfall. (5) Individual woody species varied in their time of leaf fall. There were large monthly variations in the chemical composition of the litterfall which may be related partly to the contribution of the different species. However, at one site where one species is dominant, there were still substantial monthly variations in the litterfall chemical composition.

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