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Litter Management as a Key Factor Relieves Soil Respiration Decay in an Urban-Adjacent Camphor Forest under a Short-Term N Increment

by Xuyuan Zhang 1,2, Yong Li 1,2,3, Chen Ning 1,2,*, Wei Zheng 4, Dayong Zhao 1, Ziqian Li 1 and Wende Yan 1,2,3,*
1
Faculty of Life Science and Technology, Central South University of Forestry and Technology, Changsha 410004, China
2
National Engineering Laboratory for Applied Forest Ecological Technology in Southern China, Changsha 410004, China
3
Laboratory of Urban Forest Ecology of Hunan Province, Changsha 410004, China
4
Guangxi Academy of Forestry, Nanning 530002, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(2), 216; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020216
Received: 14 December 2019 / Revised: 31 January 2020 / Accepted: 11 February 2020 / Published: 14 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
Increases in bioavailable nitrogen (N) level can impact the soil carbon (C) sequestration in many forest ecosystems through its influences on litter decomposition and soil respiration (Rs). This study aims to detect whether the litter management can affect the influence of N addition on Rs. We conducted a one-year field experiment in a camphor forest of central-south China to investigate the responses of available N status and soil Rs to N addition and litter manipulation. Four N addition plots (NH4NO3; 0, 5, 15, 30 g N m−2 year−1 as N0, N1, N2, N3, respectively) were established with three nested litter treatments: natural litter input (CK), double litter input (LA), and non-litter input (LR). We found a short-lived enhancement effect of N addition on soil (NO3-N)and net nitrification (RN), but not on (NH4-N), net ammonification (RA), or mineralization (RM). N addition also decreased Rs in CK spots, but not in LA or LR spots, in which the negative effects of N additions on Rs were alleviated by either litter addition or reduction. A priming effect was also observed in LA treatments. A structural equation modeling analysis showed that litter treatments had direct positive effects on soil available N contents and Rs, which suggested that litter decomposition may benefit from litter management when N is not a limiting factor in subtropical forests.
Keywords: nitrogen deposition; soil respiration; litter management; China; camphor nitrogen deposition; soil respiration; litter management; China; camphor
MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, X.; Li, Y.; Ning, C.; Zheng, W.; Zhao, D.; Li, Z.; Yan, W. Litter Management as a Key Factor Relieves Soil Respiration Decay in an Urban-Adjacent Camphor Forest under a Short-Term N Increment. Forests 2020, 11, 216.

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