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Correction published on 14 June 2016, see Forests 2016, 7(6), 123.

Open AccessArticle
Forests 2015, 6(12), 4462-4476; doi:10.3390/f6124381

Effects of Nitrogen Addition on Leaf Decomposition of Single-Species and Litter Mixture in Pinus tabulaeformis Forests

1
Key Laboratory for Forest Resources & Ecosystem Processes, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
2
Research Institute of Forest Ecology, Environment and Protection, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China
3
College of Forestry, Jiangxi Agricultural University, Nanchang 330045, China
4
Department of Forestry and Wood Technology, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, South Africa
5
Faculty of Forestry and Forest Ecology, Georg-August-University Göttingen, Büsgenweg 5, Göttingen D-37077, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Reynaldo Santana and Eric J. Jokela
Received: 8 June 2015 / Revised: 18 October 2015 / Accepted: 12 November 2015 / Published: 4 December 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2350 KB, uploaded 14 June 2016]   |  

Abstract

The litter decomposition process is closely correlated with nutrient cycling and the maintenance of soil fertility in the forest ecosystem. In particular, the intense environmental concern about atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition requires a better understanding of its influence on the litter decomposition process. This study examines the responses of single-species litter and litter mixture decomposition processes to N addition in Chinese pine (Pinus tabulaeformis Carr.) ecosystems. Chinese pine litter, Mongolian oak (Quercus mongolica Fisch. ex Ledeb.) litter, and a pine–oak mixture were selected from a plantation and a natural forest of Chinese pine. Four N addition treatments, i.e., control (N0: 0 kg N ha−1·year−1), low-N (N1: 5 kg N ha−1·year−1), medium-N (N2: 10 kg N ha−1·year−1), and high-N (N3: 15 kg N ha−1·year−1), were applied starting May 2010. In the plantation, N addition significantly stimulated the decomposition of the Chinese pine litter. In the natural forest, N addition had variable effects on the decomposition of single-species litter and the litter mixture. A stimulatory effect of the high-N treatment on the Chinese pine litter decomposition could be attributed to a decrease in the substrate C:N ratio. However, an opposite effect was found for the Mongolian oak litter decomposition. The stimulating effect of N addition on the Chinese pine litter may offset the suppressive effect on the Mongolian oak litter, resulting in a neutral effect on the litter mixture. These results suggest that the different responses in decomposition of single-species litter and the litter mixture to N addition are mainly attributed to litter chemical composition. Further investigations are required to characterize the effect of long-term high-level N addition on the litter decomposition as N deposition is likely to increase rapidly in the region where this study was conducted. View Full-Text
Keywords: litter quality; nutrient enrichment; single-species litter; litter mixture; Chinese pine forests litter quality; nutrient enrichment; single-species litter; litter mixture; Chinese pine forests
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, J.; Bu, W.; Zhao, B.; Zhao, X.; Zhang, C.; Fan, J.; Gadow, K.V. Effects of Nitrogen Addition on Leaf Decomposition of Single-Species and Litter Mixture in Pinus tabulaeformis Forests. Forests 2015, 6, 4462-4476.

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