EVALUATING LITTER DECOMPOSITION RATE OF FIVE TROPICALTREES USING LITTER BAG TECHNIQUEP. Nivethadevi, C. Swaminathan, K. Sangeetha, P. Kannan and B. Sivasankari
Replenishment of soil nutrients and organic matter is a serious concern in sustaining livelihood securitywhich is favoured by cycling of nutrients through litter addition. The chief objective of the investigationwas, to inspect the decomposition rate of leaf litter of five tropical trees using evaluation tools like massloss, decomposition rate, and relative decomposition rate. The study was carried out at the tree plantationsof Agricultural College and Research Institute, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Madurai-625104, Indiaduring summer 2019-2020 for eight weeks. Litter Decomposition of legume and non legume trees viz.,Peltophorumferrugineum, Pongamia glabra, Albizia lebbek and Delonix regia along with a non-legume, Azadirachtaindica was evaluated through litter bag technique. The soil moisture, soil temperature, litter moisture content,mass loss, decomposition rate and relative decomposition rate were studied. The study revealed that Pongamiaglabra litter showed 70 % mass loss in 8 weeks time with maximum decomposition rate. It was closelyfollowed by Azadirachta indica. As Pongamia glabra litter is fast decaying, it can help in improvement of soilhealth through enhancing carbon level, organic matter and also microbial activity.