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Seasonal Dynamics of Tall Shrubs in Northeastern Minnesota: Biomass and Nutrient Element Changes

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Nine plants of each of five species of tall shrubs--Acer spicatum, Alnus crispa, Amelanchier spp., Corylus cornuta, and Salix spp.--were sampled at 13 sample dates (12 for Salix) from 15 June through 8 December 1971. Plants were separated into leaves, current twigs, last year's twigs, and woody stem; biomass for each component was determined; and these data for each species were standardized and combined by component for all species. Smoothed fits of the combined data showed fluctuations in biomass during the season. These fluctuations, and especially a decrease in wood biomass in September and October and a sharp increase in November, should be considered when productivity of these species is measured. Concentrations of N, P, K, Ca, and Mg were determined in the four components. In general, nutrient concentrations over time behaved similarly among the five species, with a few extreme differences in behavior. Concentrations of N, P, and K in leaves decreased over the season. Concentrations of those elements in current twigs and stem showed an increase at about the time of leaf abscission. Calcium concentration generally increased in all components over time, while Mg did not behave consistently among components or species. When biomass changes in the various components were considered, the data indicated a flux of nutrients into the above-ground woody parts of the plant during October and November. These nutrients would presumably be used for early-season growth the next spring. Forest Sci. 22:195-208.

Keywords: Browse estimation; growth; nutrient cycling; productivity; translocation

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Principal Wildlife Biologist, North Central Forest Experiment Station, USDA Forest Service, St. Paul, Minnesota 55108

Publication date: June 1, 1976

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  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
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