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Open AccessArticle

Carbon and Nitrogen Pools and Fluxes in Adjacent Mature Norway Spruce and European Beech Forests

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Czech Geological Survey, Klárov 3, 118 21 Prague, Czech Republic
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Global Change Research Institute, AS CR, Bělidla 986/4a, 60300 Brno, Czech Republic
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Department of Physical Geography, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Albertov 6, 128 43 Prague, Czech Republic
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Department of Ecosystem Biology, Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, Branišovská 31, 37005 České Budějovice, Czech Republic
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Brian D. Strahm and Timothy A. Martin
Forests 2016, 7(11), 282; https://doi.org/10.3390/f7110282
Received: 19 September 2016 / Revised: 31 October 2016 / Accepted: 8 November 2016 / Published: 17 November 2016
We compared two adjacent mature forest ecosystem types (spruce vs. beech) to unravel the fate of assimilated carbon (C) and the cycling of organic and inorganic nitrogen (N) without the risk of the confounding influences of climatic and site differences when comparing different sites. The stock of C in biomass was higher (258 t·ha−1) in the older (150 years) beech stand compared to the younger (80 years) planted spruce stand (192 t·ha−1), whereas N biomass pools were comparable (1450 kg·ha−1). Significantly higher C and N soil pools were measured in the beech stand, both in forest floor and mineral soil. Cumulative annual CO2 soil efflux was similar among stands, i.e., 9.87 t·ha−1·year−1 of C in the spruce stand and 9.01 t·ha−1·year−1 in the beech stand. Soil temperature explained 78% (Q10 = 3.7) and 72% (Q10 = 4.2) of variability in CO2 soil efflux in the spruce and beech stand, respectively. However, the rather tight N cycle in the spruce stand prevented inorganic N losses, whereas losses were higher in the beech stand and were dominated by nitrate in the mineral soil. Our results highlighted the long-term consequences of forest management on C and N cycling. View Full-Text
Keywords: Fagus sylvatica; Picea abies; carbon; nitrogen; budget; respiration; productivity Fagus sylvatica; Picea abies; carbon; nitrogen; budget; respiration; productivity
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Oulehle, F.; Růžek, M.; Tahovská, K.; Bárta, J.; Myška, O. Carbon and Nitrogen Pools and Fluxes in Adjacent Mature Norway Spruce and European Beech Forests. Forests 2016, 7, 282.

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