Beech cupule litter is the second largest (next to leaf litter) component of total annual litterfall in mast years, and makes an important contribution to carbon budgets in beech forest soils. We investigated the decomposition processes of beech cupule litter over a 30-month period with reference to the role of fungal succession in the decomposition of acid-unhydrolyzable residue (AUR) and holocellulose. During the study period, weight loss of holocellulose occurred, while there was little weight loss of AUR, and 77% of the original cupule weight remained at the end of the study period. Xylaria sp. 1, Geniculosporium sp. and Nigrospora sp. that can attack holocellulose selectively caused mass loss of holocellulose and were responsible for the cupule weight loss. Although the beech cupule is a woody phyllome and its lignocellulose composition is similar to that of coarse woody debris (CWD) rather than leaf litter of beech, the selective decomposition of holocellulose by fungi was similar to the decay process of leaf litter rather than CWD.
- Fagus crenata
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics