Abstract: Litterfall represents a link between plant community and soil, which plays an important role in matter cycling, energy flow and the transmission of information in forest ecosystems, it is an important structural and functional unit in material cycle and energy flow of forest ecosystems. Therefore, accurate determination of litterfall production in forest ecosystem is the basis of related research work. As a core member of Chinese Ecosystem Research Network (CERN) and National Ecosystem Research Network of China (CNERN), Dinghushan Forest Ecosystem Research Station has monitored litter return of main forest types in low subtropical China since its establishment, and the gathering work has been done towards the standardization procedure after experiencing a sporadically gathering period in the first years. Among the main forest types, monsoon evergreen broad-leaved forest is a typical zonal forest in this area. According to the unified technical specifications of Chinese Ecosystem Research Network (CERN), 15 litter traps were installed randomly in 15 plots within the permanent site to collect monthly amount of litter fall production. The datasets were systematized and analyzed statistically, which monthly dynamic measurements of litter components (branches, leaves, flowers, fruits, bark, moss, lichens and debris) return in the monsoon evergreen broad-leaved forest from 1999 to 2016 at Dinghushan were presented. The datasets also included the information on the process of dataset construction. The setup and data sharing of the litter fall database provides critical data for deep studies on the vegetation structure and ecosystem function responding to water and heat pattern under global change, supporting forest management and ecosystem service function evaluation in this area.
Keywords: Dinghushan National Nature Reserve; monsoon evergreen broad-leaved forest; litter production; litter dynamics