The present study is part of a program investigating relationships between forest ecosystems and the composition of forest humus layers. The objectives of this program were stated in Research Memo No.7. This study deals with the distribution of humus fractions, i.e. the fractions which are extracted from humus layers by the adopted extraction methods. The three major fractions are called humic acid (HA), fulvic acid (FA), and humin. The distribution of these fractions were assessed on six forest ecosystems, representing dry, moist and wet (seepage) habitats in both dry and wet subzones of the Coastal western hemlock zone.
HA levels increased with increasing moisture for both subzones, however, in the wet subzone reached higher levels as compared to the similar ecosystems in the dry subzone. FA levels showed little variation between the ecosystems but was significantly lower for the moist and wet habitats in the wet subzone. This. was attributed to greater downward leaching of this acid soluble material. These findings are contrary to what might be expected from Russian literature.
Changes in fraction distribution are related to moisture regime, biological activity and to rates of humus decomposition and formation.
It was concluded that these extraction methods yield useful information when applied to samples stratified into forest ecosystems. It is possible that the HA:FA ratio might be used as a criterion to assess the effectiveness of fertilization.
Detailed Information on this subject may be obtained by writing to the Information Division, B.C. Forest Service, Legislative Buildings, Victoria, B.C. V8V 1X5 for Research Note No. 75 by K. Klinka and L.E. Lowe titled,"Organic Constituents of Forest Humus Layers in the Coastal Western Hemlock Biogeoclimatic Zone of BritiSh Columbia in Relation to Forest Ecosystems."
[Abstract contains full text of memo.]
BC Forest Service - Research Division. 1976. Organic constituents of forest humus layers in the Coastal western hemlock biogeoclimatic zone of British Columbia in relation to forest ecosystems. 2. Humus fraction distribution. British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. Research Memo (FLNRORD). RM8
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: FLNRORD, Research Memo, British Columbia
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