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2019 | 23 | 211-220
Article title

Above and Below-Ground Decomposition of Leaf Litter in Leucaena leucocaephala Plantation of Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Nigeria

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A decomposition study was carried out on the leaf litters of Leucaena leucocaephala to determine the rate of decomposition of its leaves with respect to its placement on above or below the ground levels in L. leucocaephala plantations of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria. In the study, leaf litter were randomly handpicked from the forest floor, of this, 40 g each were weighed into thirty (30) litter bags of 2 mm mesh size in which 15 were randomly placed on the forest floor (above-ground) and the remaining 15 were buried in the soil between 5-10 cm depth (below-ground). Data were analysed using descriptive statistical techniques such as percentage, while inferential statistics (simple linear regression) was used to determine relationships between various nutrient elements and days of decomposition (DOD). We noted that the percentage of mass loss of leaf litter increased with time in days after deposit and was higher (29.93%, 32.43 % and 33.25%, 41.65%) at 80 to 100 days of placement above- and below-ground, respectively. Moreover, the exchangeable basic cations and chemical compositions of litters were not consistent with respect to DOD. Regression analysis of nitrogen (N) and organic carbon (OC) showed that these elements significantly contributed to the high (86 %) overall decomposition of litter (p < 0.05, p < 0.01) below-ground level. It is, therefore, concluded that decomposition of leaf litters occur faster below ground than above ground within the forest plantation.
Physical description
  • Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria
  • Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management, Federal University Dutsin-Ma, Nigeria
  • Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria
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