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Article

Anthropogenic Disturbances Shape Soil Capillary and Saturated Water Retention Indirectly via Plant Functional Traits and Soil Organic Carbon in Temperate Forests

1
CAS Key Laboratory of Forest Ecology and Management, Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016, China
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3
Forest Ecology Research Group, College of Life Sciences, Hebei University, Baoding 071002, China
4
College of Land and Environment, Shenyang Agriculture University, Shenyang 110866, China
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School of Ecology and Environment, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an 710129, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Francisco B. Navarro
Forests 2021, 12(11), 1588; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12111588
Received: 27 September 2021 / Revised: 4 November 2021 / Accepted: 13 November 2021 / Published: 18 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Soil Interactions under Abiotic or Biotic Stresses)
Soil’s water-physical properties support essential soil water retention functions for driving water distribution and availability, which is vital for plant growth and biogeochemical cycling. However, the question concerning how tree compositions and their interactions with other abiotic factors modulate soil’s water-physical properties in disturbed forests remains poorly understood. Based on observational data from nine permanent forest sites (18,747 trees and 210 plots) in the northeast of China, where forests once undergone three different levels of anthropogenic logging disturbance, we evaluated how multiple biotic (i.e., tree diversity and functional trait composition) and abiotic (soil texture and soil organic carbon) factors influence water-physical properties (i.e., in terms of soil capillary water retention (WC) and soil saturated water retention (WS)) in temperate forests. We found that the impacts of logging disturbance on soil water-physical properties were associated with improved tree diversity, acquisitive functional traits, and SOC. These associated attributes were also positively related to WC and WS, while there was no significant effect from soil texture. Moreover, disturbance indirectly affected soil water-physical properties mainly by functional traits and SOC, as acquisitive functional traits significantly mediate the effect from disturbance on WC and SOC mediates the influence from disturbance on WS. Finally, our results emphasize the potential relationships of tree composition with SOC and soil water retention as compared with soil texture and hence suggest that plants can actively modulate their abiotic contexts after disturbance, which is meaningful for understanding forest health and resistance. View Full-Text
Keywords: biodiversity; ecosystem functions; logging disturbance; plant functional traits; soil water-physical properties biodiversity; ecosystem functions; logging disturbance; plant functional traits; soil water-physical properties
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MDPI and ACS Style

Liu, S.; Yuan, Z.; Ali, A.; Sanaei, A.; Mao, Z.; Ding, F.; Zheng, D.; Fang, S.; Jia, Z.; Tao, Z.; Lin, F.; Ye, J.; Wang, X.; Hao, Z. Anthropogenic Disturbances Shape Soil Capillary and Saturated Water Retention Indirectly via Plant Functional Traits and Soil Organic Carbon in Temperate Forests. Forests 2021, 12, 1588. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12111588

AMA Style

Liu S, Yuan Z, Ali A, Sanaei A, Mao Z, Ding F, Zheng D, Fang S, Jia Z, Tao Z, Lin F, Ye J, Wang X, Hao Z. Anthropogenic Disturbances Shape Soil Capillary and Saturated Water Retention Indirectly via Plant Functional Traits and Soil Organic Carbon in Temperate Forests. Forests. 2021; 12(11):1588. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12111588

Chicago/Turabian Style

Liu, Shufang, Zuoqiang Yuan, Arshad Ali, Anvar Sanaei, Zikun Mao, Fan Ding, Di Zheng, Shuai Fang, Zhaojie Jia, Zhao Tao, Fei Lin, Ji Ye, Xugao Wang, and Zhanqing Hao. 2021. "Anthropogenic Disturbances Shape Soil Capillary and Saturated Water Retention Indirectly via Plant Functional Traits and Soil Organic Carbon in Temperate Forests" Forests 12, no. 11: 1588. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12111588

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