Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

An Experimental Comparison of Leaf Decomposition Rates in a Wide Range of Temperate Plant Species and Types

J. H. C. Cornelissen
Journal of Ecology
Vol. 84, No. 4 (Aug., 1996), pp. 573-582
DOI: 10.2307/2261479
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2261479
Page Count: 19
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($18.00)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
An Experimental Comparison of Leaf Decomposition Rates in a Wide Range of Temperate Plant Species and Types
Preview not available

Abstract

An experimental multispecies screening of leaf decomposition rates was undertaken in order to identify and quantify general patterns in leaf decomposition rates in functional plant types and taxa. Functional species groups were characterized using whole-plant and whole-leaf features relevant to the functioning of plants in their natural environments. 2 The experiment included fresh leaf litters of 125 British vascular plant species, covering a wide range of life-forms, leaf habits and taxa. Preweighed litter samples were enclosed in two types of litter bags and exposed to natural weather conditions and soil-borne decomposers by burying them simultaneously in an experimental outdoor leaf-mould layer. 3 Relative litter dry weight losses showed largely similar patterns among species between both litter bag types, between 8 and 20-week burial periods in winter and between winter and summer burial. 4 Life-form, deciduous vs. evergreen habit, autumn coloration of leaf litter, family and evolutionary advancement sensu Sporne could each explain part of the variability in litter dry weight loss among species. The correlation with litter specific leaf area appeared confounded with taxonomy. 5 Some of these easy-to-assess predictors of species' relative leaf decomposition rates may prove useful for modelling soil decomposition rates under vegetations differing in species composition.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[573]
    [573]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
574
    574
  • Thumbnail: Page 
575
    575
  • Thumbnail: Page 
576
    576
  • Thumbnail: Page 
577
    577
  • Thumbnail: Page 
578
    578
  • Thumbnail: Page 
579
    579
  • Thumbnail: Page 
580
    580
  • Thumbnail: Page 
581
    581
  • Thumbnail: Page 
582
    582
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[unnumbered]
    [unnumbered]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[unnumbered]
    [unnumbered]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[unnumbered]
    [unnumbered]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[unnumbered]
    [unnumbered]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[unnumbered]
    [unnumbered]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[unnumbered]
    [unnumbered]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[unnumbered]
    [unnumbered]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[unnumbered]
    [unnumbered]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[unnumbered]
    [unnumbered]