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Table 3 Concentrations of C, N, P, S, Ca, K, Mg, Mn and Lignin (% and mg∙g− 1) as well as C/N and N/P ratio, mean ± standard deviation (SD), in log segments of Fagus sylvatica, Picea abies and Pinus sylvestris; mass loss at 8 years: 32%, 24.9% and 24.6%, 18 years: 60.2%, 41.9% and 42.9%, and 36 years: 63.8% and 53.6% for beech, spruce and pine respectively; small values indicate significant difference (p < 0.05) between species as well as between periods of decomposition; n = number of samples

From: Nutrient retention and release in coarse woody debris of three important central European tree species and the use of NIRS to determine deadwood chemical properties

Element Species Decomposition time p value (anova)
0 8 18 36  
Mean ± SD n Mean ± SD n Mean ± SD n Mean ± SD n time species
C (%) Beecha 46.3a ± 0.52 4 47.5b ± 0.62 47 47.4b ± 0.74 16    < 0.01 < 0.001
Spruceb 46.8a ± 0.75 6 49.9b ± 1.48 47 49.2b ± 1.27 19 50.8b ± 2.48 16 < 0.001
Pineb 48.8ab ± 1.13 5 49.1a ± 1.27 33 50.1b ± 1.5 21 50.8c ± 1.39 11 < 0.01
N (%) Beecha 0.085 ± 0.015 4 0.12 ± 0.044 50 0.14 ± 0.1 16     < 0.01
Spruceb 0.052ab ± 0.005 6 0.06a ± 0.026 45 0.091b ± 0.063 18 0.46c ± 0.31 16 < 0.001
Pineb 0.048a ± 0.014 5 0.069ab ± 0.024 31 0.1bc ± 0.079 21 0.089c ± 0.017 11 < 0.05
P (mg∙g−1) Beecha 0.089 ± 0.025 4 0.062 ± 0.023 49 0.087 ± 0.082 16     < 0.05
Spruceab 0.042a ± 0.01 6 0.035a ± 0.02 45 0.059a ± 0.042 19 0.19b ± 0.124 16 < 0.001  
Pineb 0.035 ± 0.016 4 0.045 ± 0.025 31 0.063 ± 0.038 21 0.039 ± 0.023 10   
S (mg∙g−1) Beech 0.11 ± 0.028 4 0.13 ± 0.047 16 0.21 ± 0.16 10     
Spruce 0.081a ± 0.057 6 0.063a ± 0.039 13 0.13a ± 0.085 4 0.67b ± 0.304 10 < 0.001  
Pine 0.057 ± 0.023 5 0.09 ± 0.044 8 0.12 ± 0.076 7 0.11 ± 0.076 6   
Ca (mg∙g−1) Beecha 0.83a ± 0.17 4 1.06a ± 1.39 16 1.69b ± 0.6 10    < 0.01 < 0.01
Sprucea 0.69a ± 0.14 6 0.9a ± 0.31 13 1.45ab ± 0.79 4 2.44b ± 0.75 10 < 0.001  
  Pineb 0.65 ± 0.18 5 0.63 ± 0.1 8 0.81 ± 0.27 7 1.09 ± 0.61 6   
K (mg∙g−1) Beecha 1.26a ± 0.28 4 0.77b ± 0.41 16 0.82ab ± 0.43 10     < 0.001
Spruceb 0.4 ± 0.06 6 0.31 ± 0.1 13 0.55 ± 0.52 4 0.52 ± 0.4 10   
  Pinec 0.33a ± 0.04 5 0.23ab ± 0.12 8 0.14bc ± 0.06 7 0.11c ± 0.06 6 < 0.01  
Mg (mg∙g−1) Beecha 0.29a ± 0.11 4 0.28a ± 0.15 16 0.57b ± 0.25 10    < 0.01 < 0.001
Spruceb 0.1a ± 0.03 6 0.13a ± 0.04 13 0.17ab ± 0.1 4 0.23b ± 0.08 10 < 0.01
Pineb 0.15ab ± 0.05 5 0.17a ± 0.06 8 0.09b ± 0.02 7 0.1ab ± 0.05 6 < 0.05
Mn (mg∙g−1) Beecha 0.14 ± 0.13 4 0.32 ± 0.18 15 0.28 ± 0.08 10     < 0.001
  Spruceb 0.16a ± 0.14 6 0.25a ± 0.13 13 0.47b ± 0.26 4 0.13a ± 0.1 10 < 0.01  
  Pinec 0.07 ± 0.03 5 0.18 ± 0.1 8 0.11 ± 0.04 7 0.06 ± 0.05 6   
Lignin (%) Beecha 21.5a ± 0.35 4 24.4a ± 4.12 49 26.5b ± 4.88 17    < 0.05 < 0.001
  Spruceb 27.6a ± 0.44 6 33.5b ± 5.48 47 33.4b ± 6.15 19 52.8c ± 15.3 16 < 0.001  
  Pinec 27.2 ± 0.94 5 27.8 ± 2.88 33 28.7 ± 6.81 21 27.6 ± 2.56 11   
C/N Beecha 561 ± 98.7 4 489 ± 263 47 436 ± 195 16     < 0.001
  Spruceb 912a ± 97.2 6 1088a ± 705 45 813a ± 665 18 178b ± 135 16 < 0.001  
  Pineb 1057a ± 218 5 858ab ± 523 31 677bc ± 316 21 586c ± 101 11 < 0.05  
N/P Beech 10.3 ± 4.1 4 22.7 ± 21.2 49 30.4 ± 46.1 16     
  Spruce 13.02 ± 3.26 6 23.2 ± 18.9 43 18.2 ± 12.1 18 27.2 ± 15.4 16   
  Pine 14.4 ± 7.45 4 31 ± 43.5 30 20.9 ± 19.7 21 28.3 ± 12.2 10