Comparison of soil nitrogen dynamics under beech, Norway spruce and Scots pine in central Germany

  • Zhong Z
  • Makeschin F
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To investigate the effect of tree species on soil N dynamics in temperate forest ecosystems, total N (Nt), microbial N (Nmic), net N mineralization, net nitrification, and other soil chemical properties were comparatively examined in beech (64-68 years old) and Norway spruce (53-55 years old) on sites I and 2, and beech and Scots pine (45 years old) on site 3. The initial soil conditions of the two corresponding stands at each site were similar; soil types were dystric Planosol (site 1), stagnic Gleysols (site 2), and Podzols (site 3). In organic layers (LOf(1), Of(2), Oh), Nmic and Nmic/Nt, averaged over three sampling times (Aug., Nov., Apr.), were higher under the beech stands than under the corresponding coniferous ones. However, the Nmic in the organic layers under beech had a greater temporal variation. Incubation (10 weeks, 22 degreesC, samples from November) results showed that the net N mineralization rates in organic layers were relatively high with values of 8.1 t! o 24.8 mg N ka(-1) d(-1). Between the two corresponding stands, the differences in net N mineralization rates in most of the organic layers were very small. In contrast, initial net nitrification rates (0.2-17.1 mg N kg(-1) day(-1)) were considerably lower in most of the organic layers under the conifer than under the beech. In le mineral soil (0-10 cm), Nmic values ranged from 4.1-72.7 mg kg(-1), following a clear sequence: August > November > April. Nmic values under the beech stands were significantly higher than those under the corresponding coniferous stands for samples from August and April, but not from November. The net N mineralization rates were very low in all the mineral soils studied (0.05-0.33 mg N kg(-1) day(-1)), and no significant difference appeared between the two contrasting tree species. Addresses: Dresden Univ Technol, Inst Soil Sci & Site Ecol, D-01737 Tharandt, Germany

Author-supplied keywords

  • boreal forest
  • coniferous forest
  • deposition
  • forest soils
  • leaf-litter
  • litter decomposition
  • microbial biomass
  • net-n-mineralization
  • nitrification
  • picea-abies
  • soil nitrogen status, N transformation, net N mine

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  • Z K Zhong

  • F Makeschin

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