Comparative study of leaf litter decomposition of exotic and native species in an ecotop of the hornbeam-oak forest near Báb village, SW Slovakia

HALABUK, A., GERHÁTOVÁ, K. 2011. Comparative study of leaf litter decomposition of exotic and native species in an ecotop of the hornbeam-oak forest near Báb village, SW Slovakia. Folia oecol., 38: 17-27. We present here a comparative study of leaf litter decomposition in some exotic and native species in a hornbeam-oak forest ecosystem. We focused on the exotic invasive species Robinia pseudoacacia, Ailanthus altissima, Impatiens parviflora and on the expansive native species Alliaria petiolata. These species were compared to the native co-occurring species Acer campestre and Mercurialis perennis. In addition, we studied also cellulose decomposition and site microclimate. We used the litter-bag method on five experimental plots within the managed part of hornbeam-oak forest near Báb, SW Slovakia. The plots were located in closed forest, on forest edge and in a clearing. The course of litter decomposition was fitted with the 1-phase and 2-phase negative exponential decay model for each species. The most conspicuous loss in litter weight was detected in case of the species Impatiens parviflora species (26% of mass remaining), followed by Alliaria petiolata (29% of mass remaining) and Mercurialis perennis (29% of mass remaining). In woody species, the biggest loss of litter was detected in Ailanthus altissima (45% of mass remaining), followed by Acer campestre (63% of mass remaining) and Robinia pseudoacacia (70% of mass remaining). Cellulose decomposition varied significantly in different habitats, with the highest rate in the closed forest. The pattern of herbaceous species was similar. However, this effect of the habitat was not evident in case of woody species. Key words. Báb village, decomposition, leaf litter, hornbeam-oak forest, invasive species.

© Institute of Forest Ecology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences 2011. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.

The use of this website is subject to the following Terms of Use