The litterfall in a subtropical broadleaf forest within the Fushan Experimental Forest in northeastern Taiwan was monitored for 9 years. Mean annual litterfall was very sensitive to typhoon frequency and intensity, ranging from 3 to 11 Mg·ha-1·year-1. Litterfall was significantly higher in years with strong typhoons than in years without typhoons, and the number of strong typhoons explained 82% of interannual variation in litterfall. Nutrient-use efficiency (dry mass/ nutrients in litterfall) was high for N, but low for P compared with other tropical forests. This result supports the idea that the study forest is P limited but not N limited. Nutrient loss via litterfall represents a large percentage of aboveground biomass, especially during years with strong typhoons (e.g., 19%-41%, 15%-40%, 5%-12%, for N, P, and K, respectively). Forests that experience infrequent wind disturbance (e.g., temperate or boreal forests) can gradually regain any lost nutrients prior to the next disturbance; this is different from the situation observed in the Fushan Experimental Forest. At Fu-shan the pattern of not responding to typhoons with a flush of new growth appears to be an adaptation to the frequency with which there are multiple typhoons affecting the forest in a single year. Nutrient loss in litterfall caused by frequent typhoon disturbances appears to limit tree growth and contributes to the very low canopy height of the Fushan Experimental Forest.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Canadian Journal of Forest Research|
|Publication status||Published - 2003 Nov|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Global and Planetary Change