University of Hertfordshire

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Organic Chemical Characterization of Decomposing Plant Litter: A Comparison of Methods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Jari Liski
  • Anna Repo
  • Mikko Tuomi
  • Pekka Vanhala
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3310-3316
Number of pages7
JournalCommunications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis
Early online date23 Sep 2013
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2013


There are two common methods to characterize organic chemical composition of decomposing plant litter, a forest products method and a forage fiber method. These methods divide litter into a few fractions based on extractions using different solvents. In this study, equivalencies were established between the fractions of the methods. Some of the equivalencies were based on similarities in the fractionation methods, whereas some were estimated empirically. The equivalencies gave similar chemical composition for different litter types as measurements. The results were also comparable to, or for certain fractions even better than, those obtained using earlier conversion equations. The equivalencies established are suitable for converting the forage fiber fractions to the forest products fractions in litter decomposition studies. Thus, they increase possibilities to exchange data on litter chemical characteristics across the methods in decomposition studies.


Jari liski; Anna Repo; Mikko Tuomi & Pekka Vanhala, 'Organic Chemical Characterization of Decomposing Plant Litter: A Comparison of Methods', Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, Vol. 44 (22): 3310-3316, first published online 23 September 2013. The version of record is available at doi: © 2013 Published by Taylor & Francis

ID: 11129135