Quantifying deadwood decomposition is prioritized by forest ecologists; nonetheless, uncertainties remain for its regional variation. This study tracked variations in deadwood decomposition of Korean red pine and sawtooth oak in three environmentally different regions of the Republic of Korea, namely western, eastern, and southern regions. After 24 months, dead pine and oak woods lost 47.3 ± 2.8% and 23.5 ± 1.6% in the southern region, 13.3 ± 2.6% and 20.2 ± 2.8% in the western region, and 11.9 ± 7.9% and 13.9 ± 2.3% in the eastern region, respectively. The regional variation in the decomposition rate was significant only for dead pine woods (P < 0.05). Invertebrate exclusion treatment reduced the decomposition rate in all region, and had the greatest effect in the southern region where warmer climate and concentrated termite colonization occurred. The strongest influential factor for the decomposition of dead pine woods was invertebrate exclusion (path coefficient: 0.63). Contrastingly, the decomposition of dead oak woods was highly controlled by air temperature (path coefficient: 0.88), without significant effect of invertebrate exclusion. These findings reflect the divergence in regional variation of deadwood decomposition between pine and oak, which might result from the different sensitivity to microclimate and decomposer invertebrates.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The present study was supported by the research grant of the National Research Foundation of the Republic of Korea (NRF2018R1A2B6001012, 2015R1D1A1A01057124). The authors gratefully thank the assistances from Jongyeol Lee, Hanna Chang, Jiae An, Hyungsub Kim, Gwangeun Kim, Jusub Kim, Sohye Lee, and Minji Park, and Jisoo Kim of Ecosystem Ecology Laboratory of Korea University during the field measurements and wood sample preparation. Prof. Choonsig Kim of Gyeongnam National University of Science and Technology helped select and establish the sites in southern region.
© 2021, The Author(s).
ASJC Scopus subject areas