Life, senescence and decomposition of fir needles (Abies alba Mill.) I. Methodology and preliminary results

Gourbiere, F.

Acta Oecologica, Oecologia Plantarum 2(3): 223-232


Accession: 000921832

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Data on annual needle fall (P) were taken from a previous study made in 1970-73 in the Massif Central. A formula was developed for calculating needle biomass at age i from P, alpha i - probability of a needle being alive at age i (measured on 3 branch segments of that age), pi - wt. of a needle at age i (measured on the branch segments used for determination of alpha i), and p - the wt. of a needle at falling (measured from the wt. of 6 X 1 m of needles collected in a basket between April and Oct., 1979); the mean life of a needle is calculated from the sum of alpha i. A formula is also given for calculating the life of each litter layer i (L, F1 or F2) from P, p, Mi - the mass of needles in each layer (measured on 7 samples taken between 2 trees of 102 and 98 cm circumference and 8.3 m apart in an area without underwood), and pi - the wt. of a needle in layer i (measured at each sampling site on 1 m of needles from each layer). A graph is given showing the decomposition of the needles from senescence to fall and decay, and the influence of animals and white rot fungi (basidiomycetes) is discussed.