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Forests 2018, 9(6), 343; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9060343

Changes in Topsoil Properties after Centennial Scots Pine Afforestation in a European Beech Forest (NE Spain)

Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Technological College of Huesca, Environmental Sciences Institute (IUCA), University of Zaragoza, Ctra. de Cuarte s/n, 22071 Huesca, Spain
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Received: 2 May 2018 / Revised: 7 June 2018 / Accepted: 8 June 2018 / Published: 10 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrient Dynamics of Planted Forests)
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Abstract

In this work, we studied the effects of centenary Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) afforestation on topsoil properties conducted in a deforested area that was previously occupied by a natural European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) forest. Organic layers and topsoil Ah mineral horizons (0–10 cm) were sampled in the Scots pine and European beech forests of Moncayo Natural Park (north-eastern Spain). The physical (stoniness, aggregate stability, and water repellency persistence and intensity), chemical (total organic C, total N, C/N, pH, and exchangeable Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, K+, Al3+, and Fe3+), and physicochemical (cation exchange capacity) properties of soil were analyzed. Total organic C and N were also obtained for litter samples. The studied topsoils shared a series of common properties, such as a high stoniness and aggregate stability, very low base content, high cation exchange capacity, and extreme acidity. Soils that developed under the pinewood showed a higher soil water repellency intensity. However, K+ content was significantly higher in the beechwood soil. In both forest types, total organic C and N were similar in topsoil and litter (Hemimoder type), although C and N were pooled in different O-layers. Results indicate that pine afforestation in a deforested area was an adequate measure for soil protection since it did not show significant differences in the long term (ca. 100 years) compared to the nearby natural beech stands. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest soil; Pinus sylvestris; Fagus sylvatica; soil properties; forest management; carbon stocks; nitrogen stocks forest soil; Pinus sylvestris; Fagus sylvatica; soil properties; forest management; carbon stocks; nitrogen stocks
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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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Girona-García, A.; Badía-Villas, D.; Martí, C. Changes in Topsoil Properties after Centennial Scots Pine Afforestation in a European Beech Forest (NE Spain). Forests 2018, 9, 343.

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