Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2010, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (12): 1377-1385.DOI: 10.3773/j.issn.1005-264x.2010.12.003

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Influences of salinity on mass and energy dynamics during decomposition of Kandelia candel leaf litter

HU Hong-You1,2(), ZHANG Zhao-Chao2, LI Xiong2   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
    2College of Oceanography and Environmental Science, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
  • Received:2010-05-10 Accepted:2010-09-26 Online:2010-05-10 Published:2010-12-28


Aims Our objective is to investigate the impact of salinity on decomposition of Kandelia candel leaf litter.
Methods Four laboratory treatments with different salinities (0, 10‰, 25‰ and 35‰ salinity, representing fresh water and low, medium and high salinity treatments, respectively) were set up to simulate tidal conditions for leaf litter decomposition. We analyzed dry weight, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) contents, their release rates and energy loss of leaf litter at different decomposition stages under these four treatments.
Important findings Percentage weight loss and mean rate of decomposition (MRD) in high salinity treatment were significantly lower than in fresh water and low salinity treatments. Theoretical time required for 50% loss of dry weight of leaf litter was highest in high salinity treatment. Salinity significantly affected the dynamic variation of N and P in leaf detritus. The N release rate of leaf detritus tended to increase with higher salinity, resulting in lowest N content in the high salinity treatment. During the first week, fresh water and the low salinity treatment were found to accelerate the release of P, but P content was lower under medium and high salinity than other treatments. The caloric values of leaf detritus were significantly higher in fresh water and low salinity treatments than in the high salinity treatment; however, no significant difference was found in percentage energy loss during decomposition under different salinities.

Key words: caloric value, decomposition, Kandelia candel, leaf litter, nitrogen, phosphorus, salinity