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Forests 2015, 6(7), 2387-2404; doi:10.3390/f6072387

Low Nitrogen Retention in Soil and Litter under Conditions without Plants in a Subtropical Pine Plantation

1
Research Institute of Tropical Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Guangzhou 510520, China
2
Qianyanzhou Ecological Station, Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
3
Key Laboratory for Cyclic Economy, School of Urban Planning and Design, Shenzhen Graduate School, Peking University, Shenzhen 518055, China
4
College of Forestry, Jiangxi Agricultural University, Nanchang, 330045, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Dale W. Johnson and Eric J. Jokela
Received: 22 April 2015 / Revised: 26 June 2015 / Accepted: 30 June 2015 / Published: 15 July 2015
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Abstract

Soil acts as a major sink for added nitrogen (N) in forests, but it remains unclear about the capacity of soil to immobilize N under conditions without plant roots and whether added N interacts with ecosystem N to affect N retention. We added 15NH415NO3 to in situ soil columns (with leaching) and leaf litter (without leaching) of two tree species in a subtropical Pinus elliottii plantation. Soil and litter were collected three or eight months after N addition to measure concentrations of indigenous and exogenous N. About 70% of exogenous N was retained in soil three months after N addition, of which 65.9% were in inorganic forms. Eight months after N addition, 16.0% of exogenous N was retained in soil and 9.8%–13.6% was immobilized in litter. N addition increased the mineral release and nitrification of soil indigenous N. Loss of litter indigenous N was also increased by N addition. Our results suggest that N deposition on lands with low root activities or low soil carbon (C) contents may lead to increased N output due to low N immobilization. Moreover, the effects of added N on ecosystem indigenous N may decrease the capacity of soil and litter in N retention. View Full-Text
Keywords: 15N tracer; added N interaction; N deposition; N addition; priming effect 15N tracer; added N interaction; N deposition; N addition; priming effect
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

Xiong, Y.; Xu, X.; Zeng, H.; Wang, H.; Chen, F.; Guo, D. Low Nitrogen Retention in Soil and Litter under Conditions without Plants in a Subtropical Pine Plantation. Forests 2015, 6, 2387-2404.

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