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Decomposition of Loblolly Pine Needles With and Without Addition of Dogwood Leaves
- Thomas, William A.
- Ecology 1968 v.49 no.3 pp. 568-571
- Acari, Collembola, Cornus florida, Diptera, Formicidae, Pinus taeda, bags, conifer needles, fauna, mites, weight loss
- Weight losses of decomposing loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) needles were measured in two series of litter bags: (1) without deciduous leaves and (b) with addition of dogwood (Cornus florida) leaves. First—year decomposition rates of needles in the two types of litter did not differ significantly. Loss of needle weight averaged 44% after 1 year in litter. Total number of animals extracted during the year from the 26 litter bags containing mixed litter (11,211) surpassed that from the 26 samples of needles alone (6,458). Collembola (springtails), Acarina (mites), Diptera (flies), and Hymenoptera (ants) apparently made the greatest faunal contribution to litter breakdown. Populations in mixed litter in excess of those in needles alone evidently were confined to dogwood leaves and did not aid in needle decomposition.