Litter fall, nutrient return and leaf decomposition in an age series of eucalypt plantations in Central Himalaya
Pattern of litter fall, nutrient return and leaf litter decomposition in 1 to 8 yr old Eucalyptus tereticornis Sm. plantations are described. The input of litter and nutrients increased with increasing plantation age. The total calculated tree litter input ranged from 0.4 (-yr old) - 6.6. t ha-1 yr-1 (8 yr old plantation). Total annual nutrient return in Kg ha-1 through litter fall amounted to 62.3-75.6 N, 4.1-4.3 P and 27.9-30.6 K. The rate of decomposition decreased from 1 yr old plantation to 8 yr old plantation. In 1 and 2 yr old plantation, about 98% weight loss occurred in 14 months whereas, in rest of plantations 96-98.7% weight loss occuired at the end of 16 months.
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