Date of Award

Summer 1981

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Sciences



Committee Director

Frank P. Day, Jr.

Committee Member

Lytton J. Mussleman

Committee Member

Gerald F. Levy

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.B46 Y3


This study was designed to quantitatively compare decay rates and nutrient dynamics by the confined and unconfined litter techniques in a seasonally flooded swamp. In this study both methods indicated the same order of decay rates among sites (cedar>maple-gum>cypress> mixed hardwood), but the unconfined method showed faster decay rates at all sites. As in two years of previous data collection, the stands exhibiting some seasonal flooding showed greater decay rates than the mixed hardwood stand which was not inundated. Nutrient dynamics were not different between litter bag and leaf pack methods.

This study included a preliminary investigation of seasonal soil fauna composition. Notably lacking from the detritvore groups were the lumbricid worms. Enchytraeidae and gastropod numbers were low compared with literature values


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