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Forests 2017, 8(5), 167; doi:10.3390/f8050167

Thinning of Beech Forests Stocking on Shallow Calcareous Soil Maintains Soil C and N Stocks in the Long Run

1
Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research, Atmospheric Environmental Research (IMK-IFU), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Kreuzeckbahnstrasse 19, 82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
2
Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, Silwood Park Campus, Buckhurst Road, Ascot, Berkshire SL5 7PY, UK
3
Institute of Forest Sciences, Chair of Tree Physiology, University of Freiburg; Georges-Koehler-Allee 53/54, 79110 Freiburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Alessandra Lagomarsino, Roberta Pastorelli and Alberto Agnelli
Received: 1 February 2017 / Revised: 7 May 2017 / Accepted: 8 May 2017 / Published: 11 May 2017
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Abstract

Sustainable forest management should avoid disturbance and volatilization of the soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) stocks both under present and projected future climate. Earlier studies have shown that thinning of European beech forests induces a strong initial perturbation of the soil C and N cycles in shallow Rendzic Leptosol, which consists of lower soil N retention and strongly enhanced gaseous losses observed over several years. Persistence of these effects could decrease soil organic matter (SOM) levels and associated soil functions such as erosion protection, nutrient retention, and fertility. Therefore, we resampled untreated control and thinned stands a decade after thinning at sites representing both typical present day and projected future climatic conditions for European beech forests. We determined soil organic C and total N stocks, as well as δ13C and δ15N as integrators of changes in soil C and N cycles. Thinning did not alter these parameters at any of the sampled sites, indicating that initial effects on soil C and N cycles constitute short-term perturbations. Consequently, thinning may be considered a sustainable beech forest management strategy with regard to the maintenance of soil organic C and total N stocks both under present and future climate. View Full-Text
Keywords: thinning; calcareous soil; soil N cycling; soil C cycling; soil carbon and nitrogen stocks; soil C and N losses; soil N retention thinning; calcareous soil; soil N cycling; soil C cycling; soil carbon and nitrogen stocks; soil C and N losses; soil N retention
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tejedor, J.; Saiz, G.; Rennenberg, H.; Dannenmann, M. Thinning of Beech Forests Stocking on Shallow Calcareous Soil Maintains Soil C and N Stocks in the Long Run. Forests 2017, 8, 167.

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