Rates of Coarse-Wood Decomposition

  • Donald E. Todd
  • Paul J. Hanson
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 166)


Although coarse-wood (> 5 cm in diameter) decomposition rates were not evaluated as a part of the Throughfall Displacement Experiment (TDE) effort, a previous dataset from early Walker Branch studies (Todd et al. 1976) was available to address coarse-wood decomposition under ambient conditions. These data are included in this volume because woody decay is important to the ecosystem carbon budget of temperate deciduous forests (Chapter 22, this volume). A multiyear experiment to investigate site and species effects on decay rates and nutrient release or immobilization from decaying wood was established in March of 1972. Trees representing a range of wood characteristics (Carya sp., Liriodendron tulipifera, Pinus echinata, and Quercus prinus) were harvested during the winter of 1971/1972 and cut into sections having a constant length of 30 cm but variable diameters, ranging from 5 to 18 cm. Branch sections were placed on the Walker Branch watershed in valley bottom, midslope, and ridge-top sites. The branches were retrieved from the field twice annually through 1975, at which time the experiment was discontinued because the condition of the branch samples would not support further observations.


Mass Loss Coarse Woody Debris Woody Debris Temperate Deciduous Forest Wood Decomposition 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald E. Todd
  • Paul J. Hanson

There are no affiliations available

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