Long-term Forest Ecosystem Research LWF

(25) Litterfall collector

A portion of the nutrients which are taken up by the vegetation returns to the soil with the litterfall and is partially integrated again into the pool of nutrients available to plants. This process is an essential part of the biogeochemical cycle.

The seasonal and annual nutrient loads can be quantified with the litterfall analysis (quantity and chemistry). Sorting the collected litterfall allows us to assess the annual foliage and fruit production as well as their fluctuations.

The litterfall collectors are installed on 10 LWF sites and are emptied every two to eight weeks depending on the forest stand and the season. The samples are sorted in the laboratory into fractions (e.g., leaves or needles of the main tree species, fruits of the main tree species, twigs and bark) and then processed for chemical analysis.