The Influence of Gypsy Moth on the Composition and Nutrient Content of Litter Fall in a Pennsylvania Oak Forest

$29.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Buy Article:


Litter fall was studied on gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar (L.))-defoliated plots and undefoliated plots in a Pennsylvania oak forest. Litter, collected throughout the year, was separated by plant and insect component and analyzed for dry weight and five major nutrients. Total biomass of litter falling on the defoliated and the undefoliated areas was not significantly different. Within the undefoliated plots, 90% of the litter was deposited during the autumn, and tree leaves were the major litter component. Major litter components within the defoliated plots included insect frass, leaf fragments, and tree leaves; 56% of the litter was deposited during the growing season. The nutrient content of litter totaled 73.1 kg/ha on the undefoliated plots, and tree leaves contributed 85% of all nutrients. The nutrient content of litter on the defoliated plots amounted to 94.6 kg/ha; leaf fragments, insect frass, and tree leaves contributed 34, 25, and 29% of all nutrients. Gypsy moth defoliation caused a statistically significant increase in the quantities of N, P, and K and a significant decrease in the quantity of Ca contained in litter fall. These differences are attributed to the gypsy moth altering the composition and seasonal distribution of litter fall. The significance of this nutrient shift is viewed as a further detriment to the health and vigor of host trees. Forest Sci. 32:855-870.

Keywords: (Lymantria dispar (L.)); Nutrient cycling

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Assistant Professor of Forest Resources Extension, School of Forest Resources, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802

Publication date: December 1, 1986

More about this publication?
  • Membership Information
  • ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
Related content



Share Content

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more