Litter production as indicator of nutrients to the forest ecosystem
Nsien IB, Okonkwo HO, Akpan UF, Eric EE, Balogun RB
Nutrient cycling within forest ecosystem depend majorly on the quantity of litter falls due to seasonal plant behaviour and the decomposition of the soil organic matter pool due to biotic and abiotic factors of the environment, the rate of organic matter accretion and the qualities of nutrients supplied from external sources. The biomass inputs to the soil ecosystem may be balanced with the mineralization rates so that ecosystem exists in equilibrium. This study seeks to review litter production as critical indicator of nutrients to the forest ecosystem within the context of the following sub-themes: types and sources of leaf litter, seasonality of leaf litter production in the tropical forest, pattern of litters’ production in the forest ecosystem uses of leaf litter production, restoration of land degraded site/erosion, uses of leaf litter production on growth performance of forest species and types of nutrients disposed. The study conclude by re-emphasizing litter production and decomposition as key processes in biogeochemical process of forest ecosystem; and this varies with climate, season, substrate quality, and type of biodiversity. The study recognizes forest plantation as the major pathway for recycling of nutrients in soil system through litterfall or litter production.