Leaf litter decomposition in vernal pools of a central Ontario mixedwood forest

dc.contributor.advisorSchmidt, Jonathan
dc.contributor.advisorHunt, Shelley
dc.contributor.authorOtis, Kirsten Verity
dc.date.accessioned2012-09-12T17:50:46Z
dc.date.available2012-09-12T17:50:46Z
dc.date.copyright2012-07
dc.date.created2012-06-18
dc.date.issued2012-09-12
dc.degree.departmentDepartment of Environmental Biologyen_US
dc.degree.grantorUniversity of Guelphen_US
dc.degree.nameMaster of Scienceen_US
dc.degree.programmeEnvironmental Biologyen_US
dc.description.abstractVernal 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.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10214/3977
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.publisherUniversity of Guelphen_US
dc.rightsAttribution-NonCommercial 2.5 Canada*
dc.rights.urihttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/ca/*
dc.subjectmixedwood foresten_US
dc.subjectvernal poolen_US
dc.subjectdecompositionen_US
dc.subjectmass lossen_US
dc.subjectnegative exponential modelen_US
dc.subjectdecay constanten_US
dc.subjectlitterbagen_US
dc.subjectGISen_US
dc.subjectcarbonen_US
dc.subjectnitrogenen_US
dc.subjectashen_US
dc.subjectseasonal wetlanden_US
dc.subjectephemeral forest poolen_US
dc.subjectcryptic wetlanden_US
dc.subjectseasonal forest ponden_US
dc.titleLeaf litter decomposition in vernal pools of a central Ontario mixedwood foresten_US
dc.typeThesisen_US

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