Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2011, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (10): 1019-1028.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2011.01019

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Litter dynamics of major successional communities in Maolan karst forest of China

YU Guo-Song1,2, WANG Shi-Jie1*, RONG Li1,3, and RAN Jing-Cheng4   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang 550002, China;

    2Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;

    3School of Geographic and Environmental Sciences, Guizhou Normal University, Guiyang 550001, China;

    4Administration Bureau of Maolan National Nature Reserve, Libo, Guizhou 558400, China
  • Received:2010-11-22 Revised:2011-05-11 Online:2011-11-07 Published:2011-10-01
  • Contact: WANG Shi-Jie


Aims Litter is a key in nutrient cycling and energy flow of forest ecosystems. Our objective was to study the functions of karst forest litter by analyzing litter dynamics.
Methods Litter samples were collected monthly from karst primary forest, secondary forest and shrubland in our Maolan karst study area from October 2006 to December 2008. We divided the samples into leaves, branches, flowers and fruit, and others and weighed each after drying to constant weight at 80 °C.
Important findings The annual mean litter productions of primary forest, secondary forest and shrubland in the Maolan karst study area were 4.503, 3.505 and 2.912 t·hm–2, respectively. The proportions of leaves, branches, flowers and fruits, and others for karst primary forest were 64.72%, 14.60%, 12.33% and 8.35%, respectively, while for karst secondary forest were 74.28%, 7.43%, 10.88% and 7.41%, respectively, and for karst shrubland were 75.94%, 8.56%, 12.93% and 2.57%, respectively. Therefore, leaves dominated litter. The monthly litterfall production dynamics for each community exhibited a bimodel distribution, with peaks early in the growing season and at dormancy.

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