Tree Functional Characteristics and Microenvironment Factors Affecting Litter Production and Litter Accumulation in Dry Evergreen Forest in Sakaerat Environment Research Station, Nakhon Ratchasima Province ลักษณะเชิงหน้าที่ของพืชและปัจจัยแวดล้อมที่มีผลต่อการร่วงหล่นและการสะสมของซากพืช พื้นที่ป่าดิบแล้ง บริเวณสถานีวิจัยสิ่งแวดล้อมสะแกราช จังหวัดนครราชสีมา
The litter dynamics as litter production and litter accumulation are particularly important in the nutrient allocation of forest ecosystems to the soil, where vegetation depends on turned-over nutrients from the plant detritus. Recently, the disturbances such as logging, or land-use change can change microenvironmental which influences on the ecosystem functions. To detect how changing litter dynamics by functional traits and microenvironment during the succession, we investigated the microenvironment variables and functional compositions of tree communities that affect litter production, litter accumulation and decay efficiency in Dry Evergreen Forests (DEF) at Sakaerat Environmental Station. The litter collecting traps and litter accumulation frames were set up in each plot. Monthly litter production showed a similar pattern between old-growth and secondary forests with a prominent peak during January (dry season). The annual litter production and accumulation were affected by month and interaction between month and successional stage. Litter production and decomposition were affected by microenvironment (as soil moisture, air temperature, and canopy openness) while litter accumulation was affected by litter quality as lignin. In addition, in old growth of DEF had higher remain nutrients than the secondary growth. This knowledge can be applied as nutrient supporting management on forest restoration in other disturbed areas.