A model of savanna litter decomposition

Furniss, P R
Ferrar, P
Morris, J W
Bezuidenhout, J J
Ecological Modelling
Publication Year: 
A model of litter decomposition in a South African savanna is described. Decomposing material is divided into a number of particle classes, distinguishing material of different ages, origins and size. Each particle class is further divided into a number of chemical constituents. Processes modelled include ageing, physical disintegration, consumption by termites and decay. Sources of fresh litter include tree and grass leaves. Results from a standard run of the model and a number of runs with changed parameter values to test the model's sensitivity to these are presented and discussed. From exercise of the model it appears that the most important processes relate to soil-feeding termites, with decay and physical breakdown being the background against which termites operate.
Name of Journal: 
Ecological Modelling
Resource Type: 
Document Type: 
Journal Issue/Article
Grassland Society of Southern Africa

The Grassland Society of Southern Africa (GSSA) is involved and concerned with the science and practice of range and pasture management. This broad field involves primarily the use and conservation of natural resources. It encompasses applied fields such as livestock production, wildlife management, nature conservation, water catchment management and range and mine-dump rehabilitation. The disciplines include, amongst others, ecology, botany zoology, range and pasture science, animal science, soil science and genetics. This collection includes journal articles from the African Journal of Range and Forage Science as well as related articles and reports from throughout the Southern African region.