Presentation Title

The Controls of Litter Decomposition over the Course of Winter in Keene, NH

Presentation Type

Poster

School

School of Sciences and Social Sciences

Discipline

Environmental Studies

Mentor

Renate Gebauer

Date & Time

April 9th at 4:15 PM - 5:30 PM

Location

L. P. Young Student Center, West Dining and Flag Room

Abstract

Ecosystem processes during the winter such as decomposition are poorly understood in New England due to lack of research. This study investigated the environmental factors that controlled litter decomposition rates and the dynamics of litter quality during the winter in Keene, New Hampshire through the comparison of two different habitat types under similar microclimatic conditions. Litter bags filled with leaves collected from the KSC Athletic Field and pine needles from Wheelock Park were transplanted at both sites on a monthly basis from December through April. Monthly measurements of soil and air temperatures were also taken at both sites. After the litter bags were retrieved from the field they were dried, weighed, ground, and analyzed to determine their Carbon: Nitrogen ratios. Results indicate that the site-specific and microclimatic conditions from both environments such as temperature and moisture played major long-term roles in litter decomposition while litter-type only played minor short-term roles.

Grant Funded

1

Type of Grant

Faculty Grant

Grant Name

UG Research and Creative Projects

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Apr 9th, 4:15 PM

The Controls of Litter Decomposition over the Course of Winter in Keene, NH

L. P. Young Student Center, West Dining and Flag Room

Ecosystem processes during the winter such as decomposition are poorly understood in New England due to lack of research. This study investigated the environmental factors that controlled litter decomposition rates and the dynamics of litter quality during the winter in Keene, New Hampshire through the comparison of two different habitat types under similar microclimatic conditions. Litter bags filled with leaves collected from the KSC Athletic Field and pine needles from Wheelock Park were transplanted at both sites on a monthly basis from December through April. Monthly measurements of soil and air temperatures were also taken at both sites. After the litter bags were retrieved from the field they were dried, weighed, ground, and analyzed to determine their Carbon: Nitrogen ratios. Results indicate that the site-specific and microclimatic conditions from both environments such as temperature and moisture played major long-term roles in litter decomposition while litter-type only played minor short-term roles.