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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 66 No. 2, p. 620-623
    Received: Jan 24, 2001

    * Corresponding author(s): twidol@ucdavis.edu
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Control-Bag Correction for Forest Floor Litterbag Contamination

  1. Travis W. Idol *a,
  2. Kristen A. Holzbaurb,
  3. Phillip E. Popec and
  4. Felix Ponderd
  1. a Dep. of Land, Air, and Water Resources, Univ. of California-Davis, Hoagland Hall, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616
    b Texas Dep. of Agriculture, Regulatory Division, P.O. Box 12847, Austin, TX 78711
    c Dep. of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue Univ., 1159 Forestry Bldg., West Lafayette, IN 47907
    d USDA Forest Service, North Central Research Station, 208 Foster Hall, Chestnut St., Lincoln University, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0029


Although contamination of litterbags by organic matter is potentially important, there are no standard methods to correct for it. Organic and mineral contamination of field-incubated forest floor litterbags was investigated using the standard ash-free dry mass (AFDM) correction and a correction based on increases in the mass of field-incubated litterbags filled with undecomposable control material. After 120 d, mineral contamination of Oi horizon litter averaged 5.2% of initial litter mass in stands ranging from 7 to 100 yr since cutting. There were no consistent changes in mineral contamination of Oe horizon litter. The mass of nylon control material increased by an average of 22% of initial litter mass after 120 d. Decomposition rates of Oi and Oe litter corrected using increases in control bag mass were significantly higher than uncorrected or AFDM-corrected rates. Forest stand age did not significantly affect mineral contamination, but mass gain after 120 d in the control bags was significantly higher in the 7-yr-old stand (32%) than in 13-, 32-, or 80- to 100-yr-old stands (17–20%).

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Copyright © 2002. Soil Science SocietyPublished in Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J.66:620–623.