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Soil Organic Carbon Content and Microbial Functional Diversity Were Lower in Monospecific Chinese Hickory Stands than in Natural Chinese Hickory–Broad-Leaved Mixed Forests

1
State Key Laboratory of Subtropical Silviculture, Zhejiang A&F University, Hangzhou 311300, China
2
Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Carbon Cycling in Forest Ecosystems and Carbon Sequestration, Zhejiang A&F University, Lin’an 311300, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(4), 357; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10040357
Received: 19 February 2019 / Revised: 11 April 2019 / Accepted: 19 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Abstract

To assess the effects of long-term intensive management on soil carbon cycle and microbial functional diversity, we sampled soil in Chinese hickory (Carya cathayensis Sarg.) stands managed intensively for 5, 10, 15, and 20 years, and in reference Chinese hickory–broad-leaved mixed forest (NMF) stands. We analyzed soil total organic carbon (TOC), microbial biomass carbon (MBC), and water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC) contents, applied 13C-nuclear magnetic resonance analysis for structural analysis, and determined microbial carbon source usage. TOC, MBC, and WSOC contents and the MBC to TOC ratios were lower in the intensively managed stands than in the NMF stands. The organic carbon pool in the stands managed intensively for twenty years was more stable, indicating that the easily degraded compounds had been decomposed. Diversity and evenness in carbon source usage by the microbial communities were lower in the stands managed intensively for 15 and 20 years. Based on carbon source usage, the longer the management time, the less similar the samples from the monospecific Chinese hickory stands were with the NMF samples, indicating that the microbial community compositions became more different with increased management time. The results call for changes in the management of the hickory stands to increase the soil carbon content and restore microbial diversity. View Full-Text
Keywords: total organic carbon (TOC); microbial biomass carbon (MBC); water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC); microbial functional diversity; Chinese hickory total organic carbon (TOC); microbial biomass carbon (MBC); water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC); microbial functional diversity; Chinese hickory
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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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Wu, W.; Lin, H.; Fu, W.; Penttinen, P.; Li, Y.; Jin, J.; Zhao, K.; Wu, J. Soil Organic Carbon Content and Microbial Functional Diversity Were Lower in Monospecific Chinese Hickory Stands than in Natural Chinese Hickory–Broad-Leaved Mixed Forests. Forests 2019, 10, 357.

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