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Open AccessArticle

Input-Output Budgets of Nutrients in Adjacent Norway Spruce and European Beech Monocultures Recovering from Acidification

1
Czech Geological Survey, Klárov 3, 118 21 Prague, Czech Republic
2
Department of Physical Geography, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Albertov 6, 128 43 Prague, Czech Republic
3
Global Change Research Institute, AS CR, Bělidla 986/4a, 603 00 Brno, Czech Republic
4
Environmental Measuring Systems, Turistická 5, 621 00 Brno, Czech Republic
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(1), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10010068
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 7 January 2019 / Accepted: 11 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Climate Change and Air Pollutants on Forest Tree Species)
Soil acidification has constituted an important ecological threat to forests in Central Europe since the 1950s. In areas that are sensitive to acid pollution, where the soil buffering capacity is naturally low, tree species can significantly modulate the extent of soil acidification by affecting throughfall deposition and the composition of litter. A principal difference can be expected between coniferous and broadleaf tree species. The aim of our study was to compare long-term trends in element cycling in two stands representing the main types of forest ecosystem in the region (Picea abies vs. Fagus sylvatica). In the period of 2005–2017, we continually measured element concentrations and fluxes in bulk precipitation, throughfall precipitation, and soil leachates. A continuous decline of acid deposition was detected in both bulk precipitation and throughfall. Declining deposition of S and N in both forests has led to the recovery of soil solution chemistry in the mineral soil, manifested by rising pH from 4.25 to 4.47 under spruce and from 4.42 to 4.69 in the beech stand. However, soil water in the spruce stand was more acidic, with higher concentrations of SO42− and Al when compared to the beech stand. While the acidity of soil leachates from organic horizons was driven mainly by organic anions, in lower mineral horizons it was controlled by inorganic acid anions. NO3 concentrations in deeper horizons of the spruce stand have diminished since 2006; however, in the beech plot, episodically elevated NO3 concentrations in mineral horizons are a sign of seasonal processes and of nearby perturbations. Higher output of S when compared to the input of the same element indicates slow S resorption, delaying the recovery of soil chemistry. Our results indicate that, although forest ecosystems are recovering from acidification, soil S retention and the ability to immobilize N is affected by the dominant tree species. View Full-Text
Keywords: acid deposition; acidification; European beech; Norway spruce; nitrogen; sulfur acid deposition; acidification; European beech; Norway spruce; nitrogen; sulfur
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MDPI and ACS Style

Růžek, M.; Myška, O.; Kučera, J.; Oulehle, F. Input-Output Budgets of Nutrients in Adjacent Norway Spruce and European Beech Monocultures Recovering from Acidification. Forests 2019, 10, 68. https://doi.org/10.3390/f10010068

AMA Style

Růžek M, Myška O, Kučera J, Oulehle F. Input-Output Budgets of Nutrients in Adjacent Norway Spruce and European Beech Monocultures Recovering from Acidification. Forests. 2019; 10(1):68. https://doi.org/10.3390/f10010068

Chicago/Turabian Style

Růžek, Michal; Myška, Oldřich; Kučera, Jiří; Oulehle, Filip. 2019. "Input-Output Budgets of Nutrients in Adjacent Norway Spruce and European Beech Monocultures Recovering from Acidification" Forests 10, no. 1: 68. https://doi.org/10.3390/f10010068

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