Woody debris decomposition in the Atchafalaya River Basin of Louisiana following hurricane disturbance

Soil Science Society of America Journal
By: , and 

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Abstract

The contribution of woody debris to some biogeochemical functions of forested wetlands was examined in the Atchafalaya River Basin in Louisiana following disturbance by Hurricane Andrew. Woody debris decomposition processes were characterized in terms of mass, C, N, and P dynamics. These were compared between different diameters of debris, areas recieving different intensities of disturbance, and between different positions relative to the soil. Disturbance intensity (as defined by canopy closure) had little effect on decomposition processes when compared with soil orientation (i.e., whether in contact with or suspended above the soil). Rates of mass loss varied between 0.055 and 0.068 for suspended and ground-contact coarse woody debris, respectively. Fine woody debris rate coefficients averaged 0.060 and 0.085 for the same respective orientations. In general, woody debris displayed strong source activity for P but a greater tendency toward sink behavior for N. In terms of biogeochemical transformations, these data suggest that woody debris might act as a phosphate source during sheet flow events but could provide short-term retention of inorganic N associated with floodwaters.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Woody debris decomposition in the Atchafalaya River Basin of Louisiana following hurricane disturbance
Series title Soil Science Society of America Journal
DOI 10.2136/sssaj1997.03615995006100040037x
Volume 61
Issue 4
Year Published 1997
Language English
Publisher ACSESS
Contributing office(s) National Wetlands Research Center
Description 11 p.
First page 1264
Last page 1274
Country United States
State Louisiana
Other Geospatial Atchafalaya River Basin