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Litterfall Patterns in Mature Loblolly and Longleaf Pine Stands in Coastal South Carolina

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Seasonal patterns and quantities of litterfall were measured in two-storied stands of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) and longleaf pine (P. palustris Mill.) in coastal South Carolina for 4 years. Seasonal patterns of litterfall of both stands were similar with high rates in both spring and fall and definite periods of low litterfall rates during late summer and mid to late winter. Total annual litterfall averaged 7,799 kg ha-1 yr-1 in the loblolly stand and 4,884 kg ha-1 yr-1 in the longleaf stand. In both stands, foliage from the overstory pines and understory species accounted for about three-quarters of litterfall and small branches, bark, cones, and catkins accounted for the remainder. In the loblolly stand, the foliage component of litterfall consisted of mostly loblolly pine fascicles (81 percent) and leaves from several understory species. Only 57 percent of the foliage litterfall in the longleaf pine stand was longleaf fascicles. Forest Sci. 28:223-231.

Keywords: Pinus palustris; Pinus taeda; forest floor; mineral cycling

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Belle W. Baruch Forest Science Institute of Clemson University, P.O. Box 596, Georgetown, SC 29440

Publication date: 1982-06-01

More about this publication?
  • 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.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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