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Faculty for Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences

Department Soil Ecology - Prof. Dr. Eva Lehndorff

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Berg, B; Laskowski, R; Virzo de Santo, A: Estimated nitrogen concentrations in humus as based on initial nitrogen concentrations in foliar litter: a synthesis XII. Long-term decomposition in a Scots pine forest, Canad. J. Bot., 77, 1712-1722 (1999)
The final (limit) values for litter decomposition were estimated and, by extrapolating a linear relationship between accumulated litter mass loss and litter N concentration, the N concentration at the limit value (Nlimit) was estimated. The values for Nlimit were compared with those of the A01 layer (Nhumus) and of newly shed litter (Ninit). No difference was found between the A01 and A02 layers when their N concentrations were compared with the values for Nlimit. There was a highly significant linear relationship between Nlimit and Ninit (R2 = 0.769 and p < 0.001). Likewise, there was a highly significant linear relationship between Nhumus and Ninit. When these two linear relationships were compared, there was no significant difference in slope, while there was a significant difference in the intercepts of 6.76 and 7.25 mg·g-1 for Nhumus and Ninit, respectively. Thus, for a given site in our investigation, the estimated value for N concentration in humus would be 6.8% lower than the measured one.
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