Sebetich, M. J. William Paterson University, sebetich@frontier.wilpaterson.edu
Horner-Neufeld, G. J. William Paterson University, neufeld@alaska.net

 
DECOMPOSITION OF TERRESTRIAL LEAVES AND ACORNS IN A MESOTROPHIC LAKE IN NORTHERN NEW JERSEY, USA
 
Based on observed autumn leaf fall and acorn production, we had suggested that terrestrial airborne leaves and acorns could be a major source of C, N and P to a 44-ha lake located in the Highlands Physiographic Section of New Jersey. Over two autumn seasons, this mesotrophic lake received an average of 176 kg litter/ha in the form of airborne deciduous leaves and acorns. Here we present results of the weight loss of leaves that are blown into Glenwild Lake and of acorns that fall in. In the first year, leaves of four dominant tree species were collected shortly after abscission, and in the following year another species was added. The leaves were tied to bricks and submerged in the littoral zone of Glenwild Lake. Air-dried acorns were enclosed in wire mesh and submerged. During the first year, red maple leaves lost 50% of their weight in 99 d, and black birch leaves lost 50% in 120 d. Oak leaves took up to 200 d to lose half their weight. In the following year, leaves decomposed somewhat faster. Our results indicate an important connection between the terrestrial plants and the lake.
 
Day: Tuesday, Feb. 2
Time: Poster
Location: Sweeney Center
 
Code: CS56TU0109S