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Distribution of Net Litter Inputs with Respect to Slope Position and Wind Direction

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The influence of topographical position on the distribution of hardwood litterfall over a steep ridge was studied in central New York. Unlike the initial distribution of litterfall, net inputs of litter remaining after autumn relocation were greatest on the footslopes and in the lee of the ridge crest. This pattern resulted from the autumnal wind pattern. Mineral soil N, Ca, and Mg and foliar N and Ca were significantly correlated with the net input of litter. The results suggest that nutrient cycling studies in eastern hardwood ecosystems should not assume that litter nutrients will be returned to the soil in situ, nor that net inputs from litter during the course of a year are equal to total litterfall at any given point. Forest Sci. 27:651-659.

Keywords: Northern hardwoods; Nutrient cycling

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Assistant Professor, Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853

Publication date: December 1, 1981

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