LEAF LITTER DECOMPOSITION IN VERNAL POOLS OF A CENTRAL ONTARIO MIXEDWOOD FOREST

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LEAF LITTER DECOMPOSITION IN VERNAL POOLS OF A CENTRAL ONTARIO MIXEDWOOD FOREST

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dc.contributor.advisor Schmidt, Jonathan
dc.contributor.advisor Hunt, Shelley
dc.contributor.author Otis, Kirsten Verity
dc.date 2012-06-18
dc.date.accessioned 2012-09-12T17:50:46Z
dc.date.available 2012-09-12T17:50:46Z
dc.date.issued 2012-09-12
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10214/3977
dc.description.abstract Vernal pools are small, seasonally filling wetlands found throughout forests of north eastern North America. Vernal pools have been proposed as potential 'hot spots' of carbon cycling. A key component of the carbon cycle within vernal pools is the decomposition of leaf litter. I tested the hypothesis that leaf litter decomposition is more rapid within vernal pools than the adjacent upland. Leaf litter mass losses from litterbags incubated in situ within vernal pools and adjacent upland habitat were measured periodically over one year and then again after two years. The experiment was carried out at 24 separate vernal pools, over two replicate years. This is a novel degree of replication in studies of decomposition in temporary wetlands. Factors influencing decomposition, such as duration of flooding, water depth, pH, temperature, and dissolved oxygen were measured. Mass loss was greater within pools than adjacent upland after 6 months, equal after 12 months, and lower within pools than adjacent upland after 24 months. This evidence suggests that vernal pools of Central Ontario are 'hot spots' of decomposition up to 6 months, but not after 12 and 24 months. In the long term, vernal pools may reduce decomposition rates, compared to adjacent uplands. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/ca/ *
dc.subject mixedwood forest en_US
dc.subject vernal pool en_US
dc.subject decomposition en_US
dc.subject mass loss en_US
dc.subject negative exponential model en_US
dc.subject decay constant en_US
dc.subject litterbag en_US
dc.subject GIS en_US
dc.subject carbon en_US
dc.subject nitrogen en_US
dc.subject ash en_US
dc.subject seasonal wetland en_US
dc.subject ephemeral forest pool en_US
dc.subject cryptic wetland en_US
dc.subject seasonal forest pond en_US
dc.title LEAF LITTER DECOMPOSITION IN VERNAL POOLS OF A CENTRAL ONTARIO MIXEDWOOD FOREST en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.degree.programme Environmental Biology en_US
dc.degree.name Master of Science en_US
dc.degree.department Department of Environmental Biology en_US


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