This article is free to access.
Increased deposition of reactive nitrogen (N) since pre-industrial times has dramatically altered the conditions for forest growth and decomposition of organic material in Germany. The second National Forest Soil Inventory (NFSI II, 2006–2008) shows the status of N accumulation in forest soils. A median N stock of 6.3 t ha–1 has been found in the soil profile down to a depth of maximum 90 cm, whereof 50% is stored in the upper 30 cm of the mineral soil. The high regional variability of N stocks is explained by forest type, parent material, soil acidity, annual mean temperature, and adjacent agricultural land use. C/N ratios of the top soil were on average higher (24.0) than those during NFSI I (22.4, 1989–1992), which may be seen as a first effect of slowly decreasing deposition rates. Observations on limed plots suggest that acidification inhibits soil biological activity and thereby reduces N-storage in the mineral soil. The median annual N balance for German forest soils between NFSI I and II varies between +2.9 and +7 kg ha–1, depending on the harvest regime assumed. Negative N balances occurred mainly in mountain ranges like the Black Forest or the Rhenish Slate Mountains. N stocks in the upper 30 cm of the soil generally increased, while there are indications for losses of N from deeper soil layers, potentially linked to progressing acidification in these layers. Irrespective of existing measurement uncertainties, the findings indicate the vulnerability of forest N stocks under changing conditions. Further reductions of N deposition should be strived for to reduce the risk of nitrate leaching from forest soils.
Utermann, J., Aydın, C. T., Bischoff, N., Böttcher, J., Eickenscheidt, N., Gehrmann, J., … Wellbrock, N. (2019). Heavy Metal Stocks and Concentrations in Forest Soils (pp. 199–229). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-15734-0_7
Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.