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Special Issue "Carbon and Nitrogen in Forest Ecosystems"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Ecology and Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (5 April 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Yowhan Son

Division of Environmental Science and Ecological Engineering, Korea University 145 Anam-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 136-701, Korea
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Understanding differences in carbon and nitrogen distributions and cycling spatially and temporally using various approaches is essential in forest ecosystems. In addition, influences of biotic and abiotic factors and natural and artificial disturbances on carbon and nitrogen cycling need to be understood to draw implication to forest management practices.

Relevant matters investigated within this Special Issue will be:

  • different approaches to measure carbon and nitrogen distribution and cycling in forest ecosystems including field measurement, remote sensing and modeling;
  • differences in carbon and nitrogen cycling within an ecosystem and among ecosystems;
  • changes in carbon and nitrogen cycling in forest ecosystems along successional gradients;
  • roles of microbes, insects and animals in carbon and nitrogen cycling in forest ecosystems;
  • influences of climate change on carbon and nitrogen cycling in forest ecosystems;
  • artificial manipulation of trees to simulate carbon and nitrogen cycling to climate change;
  • influences of forest management practices on carbon and nitrogen cycling in forest ecosystems;
  • ecosystem based forest management;

This Special Issue aims to understand carbon and nitrogen distribution and cycling in forest ecosystem for ecosystem-based forest management under different natural and artificial disturbances.

Prof. Dr. Yowhan Son
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Carbon and nitrogen
  • Distribution and cycling
  • Forest ecosystems
  • Field measurement
  • Remote sensing
  • Modeling
  • Microbes, insects, and animals
  • Artificial manipulation
  • Climate change
  • Management practices

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Plant-Soil Properties Associated with Nitrogen Mineralization: Effect of Conversion of Natural Secondary Forests to Larch Plantations in a Headwater Catchment in Northeast China
Forests 2018, 9(7), 386; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9070386
Received: 8 May 2018 / Revised: 22 June 2018 / Accepted: 25 June 2018 / Published: 28 June 2018
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Abstract
To understand the relative importance of plant community composition and plant-induced soil properties on N transformations, the soil N mineralization, ammonification and nitrification characteristics of natural secondary forests (Quercus mongolica-Juglans mandshurica forest: QJF, and Quercus mongolica-Populus davidiana forest: [...] Read more.
To understand the relative importance of plant community composition and plant-induced soil properties on N transformations, the soil N mineralization, ammonification and nitrification characteristics of natural secondary forests (Quercus mongolica-Juglans mandshurica forest: QJF, and Quercus mongolica-Populus davidiana forest: QPF) and the adjacent larch plantations (Larix kaempferi forest: LF1 and LF2) were studied during the growing season. All of the forest types showed seasonal dynamics of N mineralization rates. The total cumulative N mineralization was significantly higher in QPF (73.51 kg hm−2) than in LF1 (65.64 kg hm−2) and LF2 (67.51 kg hm−2) (p < 0.05). The total cumulative nitrification from May to November was significantly higher in QJF (65.16 kg hm−2) and QPF (64.87 kg hm−2) than in LF1 (52.62 kg hm−2) and FL2 (54.17 kg hm−2) (p < 0.05). Based on the variation partitioning, independent soil properties were the primary determinants of the N transformations (13.5%). Independent climate conditions explained 5.6% of the variations, while plant variations explained 3.2% of the variations in N transformations. We concluded that different forest types with various plant community compositions have different influences on the litterfall quantity and quality and the nutrient availability, and these differences interact with seasonal climate conditions that in turn drive the differences in N mineralization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon and Nitrogen in Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle Thinning Treatments Reduce Deep Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Stocks in a Coastal Pacific Northwest Forest
Forests 2018, 9(5), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9050238
Received: 4 April 2018 / Revised: 27 April 2018 / Accepted: 28 April 2018 / Published: 1 May 2018
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (21254 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Forests provide valuable ecosystem and societal services, including the sequestration of carbon (C) from the atmosphere. Management practices can impact both soil C and nitrogen (N) cycling. This study examines soil organic C (SOC) and N responses to thinning and fertilization treatments. Soil [...] Read more.
Forests provide valuable ecosystem and societal services, including the sequestration of carbon (C) from the atmosphere. Management practices can impact both soil C and nitrogen (N) cycling. This study examines soil organic C (SOC) and N responses to thinning and fertilization treatments. Soil was sampled at an intensively managed Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) plantation in north-western Oregon, USA. Management regimes—thinning, fertilization plus thinning, and no (control) treatment—were randomly assigned to nine 0.2-ha plots established in 1989 in a juvenile stand. Prior to harvest, forest floor and soil bulk density and chemical analysis samples were collected by depth to 150 cm. During a single rotation of ~40 years, thinning treatments significantly reduced SOC and N stocks by 25% and 27%, respectively, compared to no treatment. Most of this loss occurred in deeper soil layers (below ~20 cm). Fertilization plus thinning treatments also reduced SOC and N stocks, but not significantly. Across all management regimes, deeper soil layers comprised the majority of SOC and N stocks. This study shows that: (1) accurately quantifying and comparing SOC and N stocks requires sampling deep soil; and (2) forest management can substantially impact both surface and deep SOC and N stocks on decadal timescales. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon and Nitrogen in Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle Diversity and Enzyme Activity of Ectomycorrhizal Fungal Communities Following Nitrogen Fertilization in an Urban-Adjacent Pine Plantation
Forests 2018, 9(3), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9030099
Received: 2 January 2018 / Revised: 22 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 25 February 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2849 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Rapid economic development and accelerated urbanization in China has resulted in widespread atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition. One consequence of N deposition is the alteration of mycorrhizal symbioses that are critical for plant resource acquisition (nitrogen, N, phosphorus, P, water). In this study, we [...] Read more.
Rapid economic development and accelerated urbanization in China has resulted in widespread atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition. One consequence of N deposition is the alteration of mycorrhizal symbioses that are critical for plant resource acquisition (nitrogen, N, phosphorus, P, water). In this study, we characterized the diversity, composition, and functioning of ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal communities in an urban-adjacent Pinus elliottii plantation under ambient N deposition (~24 kg N ha−1 year−1), and following N fertilization (low N, 50 kg N ha−1 year−1; high N, 300 kg N ha−1 year−1). ECM functioning was expressed as the potential activities of extracellular enzymes required for organic N (protease), P (phosphomonoesterase), and recalcitrant polymers (phenol oxidase). Despite high ambient N deposition, ECM community composition shifted under experimental N fertilization, and those changes were linked to disparate levels of soil minerals (P, K) and organic matter (but not N), a decline in acid phosphatase (AP), and an increase in phenol oxidase (PO) potential activities. Based on enzyme stoichiometry, medium-smooth exploration type ECM species invested more in C acquisition (PO) relative to P (AP) following high N fertilization than other exploration types. ECM species with hydrophilic mantles also showed higher enzymatic PO:AP ratios than taxa with hydrophobic mantles. Our findings add to the accumulating evidence that shifts in ECM community composition and taxa specialized in organic C, N, and P degradation could modulate the soil nutrient cycling in forests exposed to chronic elevated N input. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon and Nitrogen in Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle Biometric and Eddy Covariance Methods for Examining the Carbon Balance of a Larix principis-rupprechtii Forest in the Qinling Mountains, China
Forests 2018, 9(2), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9020067
Received: 20 December 2017 / Revised: 23 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3118 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The carbon balance of forests is controlled by many component processes of carbon acquisition and carbon loss and depends on the age of vegetation, soils, species composition, and the local climate. Thus, examining the carbon balance of different forests around the world is [...] Read more.
The carbon balance of forests is controlled by many component processes of carbon acquisition and carbon loss and depends on the age of vegetation, soils, species composition, and the local climate. Thus, examining the carbon balance of different forests around the world is necessary to understand the global carbon balance. Nevertheless, the available information on the carbon balance of Larix principis-rupprechtii forests in the Qinling Mountains remains considerably limited. We provide the first set of results (2010–2013) from a long-term project measuring forest-atmosphere exchanges of CO2 at the Qinling National Forest Ecosystem Research Station (QNFERS), and compare the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) based on biometric measurements with those observed via the eddy covariance method. We also compare the total ecosystem respiration via scaled-up chamber and eddy covariance measurements. The net primary productivity (NPP) was 817.16 ± 81.48 g·C·m−2·y−1, of which ΔBliving and Dtotal accounted for 77.7%, and 22.3%, respectively. Total ecosystem respiration was 814.47 ± 64.22 g·C·m−2·y−1, and cumulative annual soil respiration, coarse woody debris respiration, stem respiration, and leaf respiration were 715.47 ± 28.48, 15.41 ± 1.72, 35.28 ± 4.78, and 48.31 ± 5.24 g·C·m−2·y−1, respectively, accounting for 87.85%, 1.89%, 4.33%, and 5.93% of the total ecosystem respiration. A comparison between ecosystem respiration from chamber measurements and that from eddy covariance measurements showed a strong linear correlation between the two methods (R2 = 0.93). The NEE of CO2 between forests and the atmosphere measured by eddy covariance was −288.33 ± 25.26 g·C·m−2·y−1, which revealed a carbon sink in the L. principis-rupprechtii forest. This number was 14% higher than the result from the biometric measurements (−336.71 ± 25.15 g·C·m−2·y−1). The study findings provided a cross-validation of the CO2 exchange measured via biometric and eddy covariance, which are beneficial for obtaining the true ecosystem fluxes, and more accurately evaluating carbon budgets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon and Nitrogen in Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle Carbon Mass Change and Its Drivers in a Boreal Coniferous Forest in the Qilian Mountains, China from 1964 to 2013
Forests 2018, 9(2), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9020057
Received: 16 November 2017 / Revised: 22 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (7277 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Carbon storage of mountain forests is vulnerable to climate change but the changes in carbon flux through time are poorly understood. Moreover, the relative contributions to carbon flux of drivers such as climate and atmospheric CO2 still have significant uncertainties. We used [...] Read more.
Carbon storage of mountain forests is vulnerable to climate change but the changes in carbon flux through time are poorly understood. Moreover, the relative contributions to carbon flux of drivers such as climate and atmospheric CO2 still have significant uncertainties. We used the dynamic model LPJ-GUESS with climate data from twelve meteorological stations in the Qilian Mountains, China to simulate changes in carbon mass of a montane boreal forest, and the influence of temperature, precipitation, and CO2 concentration from 1964 to 2013 on carbon flux. The results showed that the carbon mass has increased 1.202 kg/m2 from 1964 to 2013, and net primary productivity (NPP) ranged from 0.997 to 1.122 kg/m2/year. We concluded that the highest carbon mass proportion for this montane boreal forest was at altitudes 2700–3100 m (proportion of ecosystem carbon was between 93–97%), with maximum carbon density observed at 2700–2900 m. In the last 50 years, the increase in precipitation and in CO2 concentration is expected to increase carbon mass and NPP of Picea crassifolia Kom. (Pinaceae) (Qinghai spruce). The effect of temperature on NPP was positive but that on carbon mass was not clear. The increase in CO2 concentration over the past 50 years was a major contributor to the increase in carbon storage, and drought was the foremost limiting factor in carbon storage capacity of this montane boreal forest. Picea crassifolia forest was vulnerable to climate change. Further studies need to focus on the impact of extreme weather, especially drought, on carbon storage in Picea crassifolia forests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon and Nitrogen in Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle Forest Floor and Mineral Soil Respiration Rates in a Northern Minnesota Red Pine Chronosequence
Forests 2018, 9(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9010016
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 23 December 2017 / Accepted: 25 December 2017 / Published: 29 December 2017
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Abstract
We measured total soil CO2 efflux (RS) and efflux from the forest floor layers (RFF) in red pine (Pinus resinosa Ait.) stands of different ages to examine relationships between stand age and belowground C cycling. Soil temperature [...] Read more.
We measured total soil CO2 efflux (RS) and efflux from the forest floor layers (RFF) in red pine (Pinus resinosa Ait.) stands of different ages to examine relationships between stand age and belowground C cycling. Soil temperature and RS were often lower in a 31-year-old stand (Y31) than in 9-year-old (Y9), 61-year-old (Y61), or 123-year-old (Y123) stands. This pattern was most apparent during warm summer months, but there were no consistent differences in RFF among different-aged stands. RFF represented an average of 4–13% of total soil respiration, and forest floor removal increased moisture content in the mineral soil. We found no evidence of an age effect on the temperature sensitivity of RS, but respiration rates in Y61 and Y123 were less sensitive to low soil moisture than RS in Y9 and Y31. Our results suggest that soil respiration’s sensitivity to soil moisture may change more over the course of stand development than its sensitivity to soil temperature in red pine, and that management activities that alter landscape-scale age distributions in red pine forests could have significant impacts on rates of soil CO2 efflux from this forest type. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon and Nitrogen in Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Nitrogen Deposition on Soil Dissolved Organic Carbon and Nitrogen in Moso Bamboo Plantations Strongly Depend on Management Practices
Forests 2017, 8(11), 452; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8110452
Received: 12 September 2017 / Revised: 11 November 2017 / Accepted: 13 November 2017 / Published: 17 November 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2283 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Soil dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nitrogen (DON) play significant roles in forest carbon, nitrogen and nutrient cycling. The objective of the present study was to estimate the effect of management practices and nitrogen (N) deposition on soil DOC and DON in Moso [...] Read more.
Soil dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nitrogen (DON) play significant roles in forest carbon, nitrogen and nutrient cycling. The objective of the present study was to estimate the effect of management practices and nitrogen (N) deposition on soil DOC and DON in Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis (Carrière) J. Houz) plantations. This experiment, conducted for over 36 months, investigated the effects of four N addition levels (30, 60 and 90 kg N ha−1 year−1, and the N-free control) and two management practices (conventional management (CM) and intensive management (IM)) on DOC and DON. The results showed that DOC and DON concentrations were the highest in summer. Both intensive management and N deposition independently decreased DOC and DON in spring (p < 0.05) but not in winter. However, when combined with IM, N deposition increased DOC and DON in spring and winter (p < 0.05). Our results demonstrated that N deposition significantly increased the loss of soil DOC and DON in Moso plantations, and this reduction was strongly affected by IM practices and varied seasonally. Therefore, management practices and seasonal variation should be considered when using ecological models to estimate the effects of N deposition on soil DOC and DON in plantation ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon and Nitrogen in Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle Carbon Sequestration in Protected Areas: A Case Study of an Abies religiosa (H.B.K.) Schlecht. et Cham Forest
Forests 2017, 8(11), 429; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8110429
Received: 23 August 2017 / Revised: 17 October 2017 / Accepted: 28 October 2017 / Published: 12 November 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1679 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The effects of global climate change have highlighted forest ecosystems as a key element in reducing the amount of atmospheric carbon through photosynthesis. The objective of this study was to estimate the amount of carbon content and its percentage capture in a protected [...] Read more.
The effects of global climate change have highlighted forest ecosystems as a key element in reducing the amount of atmospheric carbon through photosynthesis. The objective of this study was to estimate the amount of carbon content and its percentage capture in a protected Abies religiosa forest in which the study area was zoned with satellite image analysis. Dendrometric and epidometric variables were used to determine the volume and increase of aerial biomass, and stored carbon and its capture rate using equations. The results indicate that this forest contains an average of 105.72 MgC ha−1, with an estimated sequestration rate of 1.03 MgC ha−1 yr−1. The results show that carbon capture increasing depends on the increase in volume. Therefore, in order to achieve the maximum yield in a forest, it is necessary to implement sustainable forest management that favors the sustained use of soil productivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon and Nitrogen in Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle Nonlinear Variations of Net Primary Productivity and Its Relationship with Climate and Vegetation Phenology, China
Forests 2017, 8(10), 361; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8100361
Received: 8 August 2017 / Revised: 17 September 2017 / Accepted: 19 September 2017 / Published: 25 September 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (13729 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Net primary productivity (NPP) is an important component of the terrestrial carbon cycle. In this study, NPP was estimated based on two models and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spaectroradiometer (MODIS) data. The spatiotemporal patterns of NPP and the correlations with climate factors and vegetation [...] Read more.
Net primary productivity (NPP) is an important component of the terrestrial carbon cycle. In this study, NPP was estimated based on two models and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spaectroradiometer (MODIS) data. The spatiotemporal patterns of NPP and the correlations with climate factors and vegetation phenology were then analyzed. Our results showed that NPP derived from MODIS performed well in China. Spatially, NPP decreased from the southeast toward the northwest. Temporally, NPP showed a nonlinear increasing trend at a national scale, but the magnitude became slow after 2004. At a regional scale, NPP in Northern China and the Tibetan Plateau showed a nonlinear increasing trend, while the NPP decreased in most areas of Southern China. The decreases in NPP were more than offset by the increases. At the biome level, all vegetation types displayed an increasing trend, except for shrub and evergreen broad forests (EBF). Moreover, a turning point year occurred for all vegetation types, except for EBF. Generally, climatic factors and Length of Season were all positively correlated with the NPP, while the relationships were much more diverse at a regional level. The direct effect of solar radiation on the NPP was larger (0.31) than precipitation (0.25) and temperature (0.07). Our results indicated that China could mitigate climate warming at a regional and/or global scale to some extent during the time period of 2001–2014. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon and Nitrogen in Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle Rapid Shifts in Soil Nutrients and Decomposition Enzyme Activity in Early Succession Following Forest Fire
Forests 2017, 8(9), 347; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8090347
Received: 3 August 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (2776 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
While past research has studied forest succession on decadal timescales, ecosystem responses to rapid shifts in nutrient dynamics within the first months to years of succession after fire (e.g., carbon (C) burn-off, a pulse in inorganic nitrogen (N), accumulation of organic matter, etc.) [...] Read more.
While past research has studied forest succession on decadal timescales, ecosystem responses to rapid shifts in nutrient dynamics within the first months to years of succession after fire (e.g., carbon (C) burn-off, a pulse in inorganic nitrogen (N), accumulation of organic matter, etc.) have been less well documented. This work reveals how rapid shifts in nutrient availability associated with fire disturbance may drive changes in soil enzyme activity on short timescales in forest secondary succession. In this study, we evaluate soil chemistry and decomposition extracellular enzyme activity (EEA) across time to determine whether rapid shifts in nutrient availability (1–29 months after fire) might control microbial enzyme activity. We found that, with advancing succession, soil nutrients correlate with C-targeting β-1,4-glucosidase (BG) EEA four months after the fire, and with N-targeting β-1,4-N-acetylglucosaminidase (NAG) EEA at 29 months after the fire, indicating shifting nutrient limitation and decomposition dynamics. We also observed increases in BG:NAG ratios over 29 months in these recently burned soils, suggesting relative increases in microbial activity around C-cycling and C-acquisition. These successional dynamics were unique from seasonal changes we observed in unburned, forested reference soils. Our work demonstrates how EEA may shift even within the first months to years of ecosystem succession alongside common patterns of post-fire nutrient availability. Thus, this work emphasizes that nutrient dynamics in the earliest stages of forest secondary succession are important for understanding rates of C and N cycling and ecosystem development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon and Nitrogen in Forest Ecosystems)
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