Special Issue "Nutrient Cycling 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 (30 November 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Robert G. Qualls
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science, University of Nevada, Reno, NV, USA
Interests: forest biogeochemistry; wetland biogeochemistry; succession and ecosystem development; effects of climatic warming and CO2 fertilization on forest soils; soil organic matter chemistry; microbial ecology; chlorine chemistry in water; ultraviolet light disinfection
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The long term productivity of forest ecosystems depends on the cycling of nutrients. In fact, the carbon dioxide fertilization effect on forest productivity may ultimately be limited by the rate of nutrient cycling. Contemporary and future disturbances such as climatic warming, deforestation, short rotation sylviculture, fire (wild and controlled), and the invasion of exotic species all place strains on the integrity of this system of nutrient cycling. Global differences in climate, soils, and species make the extrapolation of even a single important study difficult to extrapolate to forests worldwide. Despite advances in the understanding of nutrient cycling and carbon production in forests, many questions remain. These questions are reflected in the topics listed below. We invite submissions for a Special Issue of Forests on the subject of “Nutrient Cycling in Forest Ecosystems”. Topics for submissions may include, but are not limited to:

  • forest nutrient stocks and climate change;
  • ability of increased N and P mineralization caused by soil warming to sustain increased productivity caused by CO2 fertilization;
  • uptake, removal from soil, and cycling of nutrients during forest growth (either natural ecosystem development or growth of managed forests);
  • nutrient cycling and species diversity: does increased tree diversity improve nutrient use in plantations?
  • species effects on nutrient cycling; dominant species traits that affect nutrient cycling;
  • effects of invasive species or forest management practices on nutrient cycling;
  • genomics of microorganisms involved in nutrient cycling;
  • role of mycorrhizae in nutrient cycles;
  • fate of nutrients used in fertilization;
  • root productivity and nutrient turnover;
  • fundamental mechanisms that control P cycling in tropical forests;
  • causes of recalcitrance in soil organic matter mineralization.

Prof. Dr. Robert G. Qualls
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Forests
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Nutrient cycles
  • Soil
  • Climate change
  • Nitrogen, phosphorus, carbon, micronutrients

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Mixed Broadleaved Tree Species Increases Soil Phosphorus Availability but Decreases the Coniferous Tree Nutrient Concentration in Subtropical China
Forests 2020, 11(4), 461; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11040461 - 19 Apr 2020
Abstract
Phosphorus (P) is a key limiting nutrient in subtropical forests and mixed forests with broadleaved species have been expected to stimulate P cycling, compared to pure conifer plantations. However, the mixture effect of Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook.) and broadleaved species [...] Read more.
Phosphorus (P) is a key limiting nutrient in subtropical forests and mixed forests with broadleaved species have been expected to stimulate P cycling, compared to pure conifer plantations. However, the mixture effect of Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook.) and broadleaved species on rhizosphere soil and coniferous tree P dynamics is unclear. In our study, eight plots of a single species of a Chinese fir plantation (pure plantation, PP) and eight mixed plantations (mixed plantation, MP) with broadleaved tree species (Michelia macclurei Dandy in Hunan Province or Schima superba Gardn. et Champ. in Fujian Province) were selected in subtropical China. Six P fractions in the rhizosphere and bulk soils were analyzed by a modified Hedley P fractionation method. Phosphorus fractions and nitrogen (N) concentrations in different root orders, different age fresh needles and twigs, and needle and twig litter of Chinese fir were measured. Our results showed that available P, slowly released P, occluded P, and the total extractable P in rhizosphere soil were significantly higher in MP than PP (p < 0.05). In contrast, P and N concentrations in the transportive roots and two-year old needles were generally higher in PP than MP. Meanwhile, the slowly released P, occluded P, total extractable P, and residual P in rhizosphere soil were negatively correlated with P concentrations in young (absorptive and transportive roots, one- and two-year old needles) but not old tissues (storative roots, three-year old needles and litters). In conclusion, mixture may increase soil P availability through the rhizosphere effect, but can decrease P and N concentration of Chinese fir tissues by competition between Chinese fir and broadleaved species. Clearly, the mixture effect may differ in soil and plant nutrients, and this issue needs be taken into consideration when converting a pure conifer plantation into a mixed-species forest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrient Cycling in Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle
Storage and Climatic Controlling Factors of Litter Standing Crop Carbon in the Shrublands of the Tibetan Plateau
Forests 2019, 10(11), 987; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110987 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
Litter is an important component of terrestrial ecosystems and plays a significant role in carbon cycles. Quantifying regional-scale patterns of litter standing crop distribution will improve our understanding of the mechanisms of the terrestrial carbon cycle, and thus enable accurate predictions of the [...] Read more.
Litter is an important component of terrestrial ecosystems and plays a significant role in carbon cycles. Quantifying regional-scale patterns of litter standing crop distribution will improve our understanding of the mechanisms of the terrestrial carbon cycle, and thus enable accurate predictions of the responses of the terrestrial carbon cycle to future climate change. In this study, we aimed to estimate the storage and climatic controlling factors of litter standing crop carbon in the Tibetan Plateau shrublands. We investigated litter standing crop carbon storage and its controlling factors, using a litter survey at 65 shrublands sites across the Tibetan Plateau from 2011–2013. Ordinary least squares regression analyses were conducted to estimate the relationships between litter standing crop carbon, longitude, and latitude. Multiple linear regressions were used to evaluate relationships among litter standing crop carbon, mean annual temperature (MAT), mean annual precipitation (MAP), and aboveground biomass. The litter standing crop carbon storage was 10.93 Tg C, 7.40 Tg C, and 3.53 Tg C in desert shrublands and alpine shrublands, respectively. Litter standing crop carbon decreased with longitude, and was stable with increasing latitude. Most (80%) of the litter standing crop was stored in branches, with only 20% stored in foliage in the shrublands on the Tibetan Plateau. The conversion coefficient was 0.44 for litter standing crop to litter standing crop carbon, and 0.39 and 0.45 for foliage and branch litter standing crop to foliage and branch litter standing crop carbon, respectively. Aboveground biomass can accelerate more inputs of litter and has a positive effect on litter standing crop carbon. MAT had a positive effect on litter standing crop carbon due to stimulating more input of aboveground biomass. However, MAP had a negative relationship with litter standing crop carbon by enhancing litter decomposition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrient Cycling in Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle
Understory Plant Functional Types Alter Stoichiometry Correlations between Litter and Soil in Chinese Fir Plantations with N and P Addition
Forests 2019, 10(9), 742; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090742 - 28 Aug 2019
Abstract
Research Highlights: This study identifies the effect of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) addition on stoichiometry correlations between understory plants and soil in subtropical Chinese fir plantations. Background and Objectives: Nitrogen and P are two nutrients limiting forest ecosystem production. To obtain more [...] Read more.
Research Highlights: This study identifies the effect of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) addition on stoichiometry correlations between understory plants and soil in subtropical Chinese fir plantations. Background and Objectives: Nitrogen and P are two nutrients limiting forest ecosystem production. To obtain more wood production, N and P are usually applied in plantation management. Changes in soil N and P will generally alter the stoichiometric characteristics of understory plants, which control carbon (C) and nutrient cycles between plants and soil. However, different correlations between plant and soil stoichiometry among functional groups of understory plants have not been investigated, which also impacted element cycling between plants and soil. Materials and Methods: Subtropical Chinese fir plantations were selected for N (100 kg ha−1 year−1) and P (50 kg ha−1 year−1) addition study. We collected fresh litter and the corresponding soil of four understory plants (Lophatherum gracile Brongn., Woodwardia japonica (L.f.) Sm., Dryopteris atrata (Kunze) Ching and Dicranopteris dichotoma (Thunb.) Berhn.) for study of C, N, and P stoichiometric ratios. Results: Nitrogen and P addition affected C, N, and P concentrations and stoichiometric ratios in litter and soil as well as correlations between litter and soil stoichiometric ratios. Understory plant species with different functional types impacted the correlations between plants and soil in C, N, and P stoichiometric ratios, especially correlations between litter C and soil C and N. Conclusions: Changes in soil N and P affect the stoichiometric ratios of understory plants. Functional groups impacted the correlation in C, N, and P stoichiometric ratios between plants and soil, indicating functional groups varied in their impacts on element cycling between plants and soil in plantations with exogenous nutrient addition, which should be considered in future management of plantations with intensive fertilization practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrient Cycling in Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle
Immediate Changes in Organic Matter and Plant Available Nutrients of Haplic Luvisol Soils Following Different Experimental Burning Intensities in Damak Forest, Hungary
Forests 2019, 10(5), 453; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10050453 - 24 May 2019
Abstract
One of the major pedological changes produced by wildfires is the drastic modification of forest soil systems properties. To our knowledge, large research gaps are currently present concerning the effect of such fires on forest Haplic Luvisols soils in Central Europe. In this [...] Read more.
One of the major pedological changes produced by wildfires is the drastic modification of forest soil systems properties. To our knowledge, large research gaps are currently present concerning the effect of such fires on forest Haplic Luvisols soils in Central Europe. In this study, the effects of experimental fires on soil organic matter and chemical properties at different burning intensities in a Central European forest were examined. The study was conducted at Damak Forest, in Hungary, ecosystem dominated by deciduous broadleaf trees, including the rare Hungarian oak Quercus frainetto Ten. The experimental fires were carried out in nine different plots on Haplic Luvisol soils transferred from Damak Forest to the burning site. Three types of fuel load were collected from the forest: litter layer, understorey and overstorey. Groups of three plots were burned at low (litter layer), medium intensity (litter and understorey) and high intensity (litter, understorey and overstorey). Pre-fire and post-fire soil samples were taken from each plot, analysed in the laboratory and statistically compared. Key plant nutrients of organic matter, carbon, potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus were analysed from each sample. No significant differences in soil organic matter and carbon between pre- and post-fire samples were observed, but high intensity fires did increase soil pH significantly. Calcium, magnesium and phosphorus availability increased significantly at all fire intensity levels. Soil potassium levels significantly decreased (ca. 50%) for all intensity treatments, in contrast to most literature. Potassium is a key nutrient for ion transport in plants, and any loss of this nutrient from the soil could have significant effects on local agricultural production. Overall, our findings provide evidence that support the maintaining of the current Hungarian fire prevention policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrient Cycling in Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle
Importance of the Local Environment on Nutrient Cycling and Litter Decomposition in a Tall Eucalypt Forest
Forests 2019, 10(4), 340; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10040340 - 16 Apr 2019
Abstract
The relative abundance of nitrogen-fixing species has been hypothesised to influence tree biomass, decomposition, and nitrogen availability in eucalypt forests. This prediction has been demonstrated in experimental settings (two-species mixtures) but is yet to be observed in the field with more realistically complex [...] Read more.
The relative abundance of nitrogen-fixing species has been hypothesised to influence tree biomass, decomposition, and nitrogen availability in eucalypt forests. This prediction has been demonstrated in experimental settings (two-species mixtures) but is yet to be observed in the field with more realistically complex communities. We used a combination of (a) field measurements of tree-community composition, (b) sampling of soil from a subset of these sites (i.e., the local environment), and (c) a decomposition experiment of forest litter to examine whether there is a local-scale effect of the nitrogen-fixing Acacia dealbata Link (presence and abundance) on nitrogen availability, and whether increases in this essential nutrient led to greater biomass of the canopy tree species, Eucalyptus obliqua L’Hér. Average A. dealbata tree size was a significant predictor of forest basal area in 24 plots (12% deviance explained) and, when combined with average distance between trees, explained 29.1% variance in E. obliqua biomass. However, static patterns of local nitrogen concentration were unrelated to the presence or size of A. dealbata, despite our experiments showing that A. dealbata leaf litter controls decomposition rates in the soil (due to three times higher N). Such results are important for forest management in the context of understanding the timing and turnover of shorter-lived species like acacias, where higher N (through either litter or soil) might be better detected early in community establishment (when growth is faster and intraspecific competition more intense) but with that early signal subsequently dissipated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrient Cycling in Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle
Nitrogen and Phosphorus Resorption in Relation to Nutrition Limitation along the Chronosequence of Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) Plantation
Forests 2019, 10(3), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10030261 - 15 Mar 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Plant nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) resorption is an important strategy to conserve N and P in the face of nutrient limitation. However, little is known about the variation of N and P resorption efficiency (NRE and PRE) and their correlation with leaves [...] Read more.
Plant nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) resorption is an important strategy to conserve N and P in the face of nutrient limitation. However, little is known about the variation of N and P resorption efficiency (NRE and PRE) and their correlation with leaves and soil C:N:P stoichiometry in black locust forests (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) of different ages. In this study, we measured C, N, and P concentrations in soil, green leaves, and senesced leaves from black locust forests of different ages (i.e, 10-, 20-, 30-, 36-, and 45-year-old), and calculated the NRE, PRE, and C:N:P stoichiometry ratios. The NRE and PRE tended to increase and then decrease with stand age, ranging from 46.8% to 57.4% and from 37.4% to 58.5%, with averages of 52.61 and 51.89, respectively. The PRE:NRE decreased with increased stand ages. The C:P and N:P of soil and green leaves increased with stand ages, indicating the increase of P limitation. In the senesced leaves, C:P and N:P were lower than in green leaves and first increased and then decreased with stand age. The PRE was significantly negatively correlated with the C:P and N:P of soil and green leaves. The NRE was significantly correlated with the C concentration of green leaves, P of the senesced leaves, and C:N. Results suggested that the NRE and PRE responded differently to soil and plant nutrients in black locust forests of different ages. In addition, the black locust plantations would alter the conservation and use strategy of nutrients in the ecosystem through a plant-mediated pathway. Future studies should elucidate the central nutrient utilization strategy of black locust in response to a nutrient-poor environment and determine how it is involved in regulating nutrient resorption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrient Cycling in Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle
Divergent Responses of Foliar N:P Stoichiometry During Different Seasons to Nitrogen Deposition in an Old-Growth Temperate Forest, Northeast China
Forests 2019, 10(3), 257; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10030257 - 13 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition has rapidly increased during the last few decades; however, the seasonal responses of leaf N:P stoichiometry to N deposition remain unclear. In 2008, a simulated N deposition experiment (0, 30, 60, and 120 kg·N·ha−1·yr−1) was [...] Read more.
Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition has rapidly increased during the last few decades; however, the seasonal responses of leaf N:P stoichiometry to N deposition remain unclear. In 2008, a simulated N deposition experiment (0, 30, 60, and 120 kg·N·ha−1·yr−1) was conducted in an old-growth temperate forest in Northeast China. In 2014, the leaves of 17 woody species and soil were sampled in spring, summer, and autumn in each treatment, and N:P stoichiometry was assessed. Community N and P in summer were significantly lower than that in spring and autumn. Unlike broadleaved species, conifers showed no significant variation among the three seasons. N addition significantly enhanced community N and soil available P but decreased soil total P in summer and autumn, and decreased community P, as well as the P concentration of three life forms (conifer, tree, and shrub), in autumn. Our results emphasize the importance of multiple sampling across seasons in temperate forests. Arguing against the traditional consensus, the productivity of the old-growth temperate forests is limited by both N and P. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrient Cycling in Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle
Nitrogen and Phosphorus Resorption in Planted Forests Worldwide
Forests 2019, 10(3), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10030201 - 26 Feb 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
Nutrient resorption from senescing leaves is one of the plants’ essential nutrient conservation strategies. Parameters associated with resorption are important nutrient-cycling constraints for accurate predictions of long-term primary productivity in forest ecosystems. However, we know little about the spatial patterns and drivers of [...] Read more.
Nutrient resorption from senescing leaves is one of the plants’ essential nutrient conservation strategies. Parameters associated with resorption are important nutrient-cycling constraints for accurate predictions of long-term primary productivity in forest ecosystems. However, we know little about the spatial patterns and drivers of leaf nutrient resorption in planted forests worldwide. By synthesizing results of 146 studies, we explored nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) resorption efficiency (NRE and PRE) among climate zones and tree functional types, as well as the factors that play dominant roles in nutrient resorption in plantations globally. Our results showed that the mean NRE and PRE were 58.98% ± 0.53% and 60.21% ± 0.77%, respectively. NRE significantly increased from tropical to boreal zones, while PRE did not significantly differ among climate zones, suggesting differential impacts of climates on NRE and PRE. Plant functional types exert a strong influence on nutrient resorption. Conifer trees had higher PRE than broadleaf trees, reflecting the adaptation of the coniferous trees to oligotrophic habitats. Deciduous trees had lower PRE than evergreen trees that are commonly planted in P-limited low latitudes and have long leaf longevity with high nutrient use efficiency. While non-N-fixing trees had higher NRE than N-fixing trees, the PRE of non-N-fixing trees was lower than that of N-fixing trees, indicating significant impact of the N-fixing ability on the resorption of N and P. Our multivariate regression analyses showed that variations in NRE were mainly regulated by climates (mean annual precipitation and latitude), while variations in PRE were dominantly controlled by green leaf nutrient concentrations (N and P). Our results, in general, suggest that the predicted global warming and changed precipitation regimes may profoundly affect N cycling in planted forests. In addition, green leaf nutrient concentrations may be good indicators for PRE in planted forests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrient Cycling in Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle
Decreased Temperature with Increasing Elevation Decreases the End-Season Leaf-to-Wood Reallocation of Resources in Deciduous Betula ermanii Cham. Trees
Forests 2019, 10(2), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10020166 - 15 Feb 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Global air temperature has increased and continues to increase, especially in high latitude and high altitude areas, which may affect plant resource physiology and thus plant growth and productivity. The resource remobilization efficiency of plants in response to global warming is, however, still [...] Read more.
Global air temperature has increased and continues to increase, especially in high latitude and high altitude areas, which may affect plant resource physiology and thus plant growth and productivity. The resource remobilization efficiency of plants in response to global warming is, however, still poorly understood. We thus assessed end-season resource remobilization from leaves to woody tissues in deciduous Betula ermanii Cham. trees grown along an elevational gradient ranging from 1700 m to 2187 m a.s.l. on Changbai Mountain, northeastern China. We hypothesized that end-season resource remobilization efficiency from leaves to storage tissues increases with increasing elevation or decreasing temperature. To test this hypothesis, concentrations of non-structural carbohydrates (NSCs), nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) during peak shoot growth (July) were compared with those at the end of growing season (September on Changbai Mt.) for each tissue type. To avoid leaf phenological effects on parameters, fallen leaves were collected at the end-season. Except for July-shoot NSC and July-leaf K, tissue concentrations of NSC, N, P, and K did not decrease with increasing elevation for both July and September. We found that the end-season leaf-to-wood reallocation efficiency decreased with increasing elevation. This lower reallocation efficiency may result in resource limitation in high-elevation trees. Future warming may promote leaf-to-wood resource reallocation, leading to upward shift of forests to higher elevations. The NSC, N, P, and K accumulated in stems and roots but not in shoots, especially in trees grown close to or at their upper limit, indicating that stems and roots of deciduous trees are the most important storage tissues over winter. Our results contribute to better understand the resource-related ecophysiological mechanisms for treeline formation, and vice versa, to better predict forest dynamics at high elevations in response to global warming. Our study provides resource-related ecophysiological knowledge for developing management strategies for high elevation forests in a rapidly warming world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrient Cycling in Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Experimental Nitrogen Addition on Nutrients and Nonstructural Carbohydrates of Dominant Understory Plants in a Chinese Fir Plantation
Forests 2019, 10(2), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10020155 - 12 Feb 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Research Highlights: This study identifies the nitrogen (N) deposition effect on understory plants by altering directly soil nutrients or indirectly altering environmental factors in subtropical plantation. Background and Objectives: N deposition is a major environmental issue and has altered forest ecosystem components and [...] Read more.
Research Highlights: This study identifies the nitrogen (N) deposition effect on understory plants by altering directly soil nutrients or indirectly altering environmental factors in subtropical plantation. Background and Objectives: N deposition is a major environmental issue and has altered forest ecosystem components and their functions. The response of understory vegetation to N deposition is often neglected due to a small proportion of stand productivity. However, compared to overstory trees, understory species usually have a higher nutrient cycle rate and are more sensitive to environmental change, so should be of greater concern. Materials and Methods: The changes in plant biomass, N, phosphorus (P), and nonstructural carbohydrates (NSCs) of three dominant understory species, namely Dicranopteris dichotoma, Lophatherum gracile, and Melastoma dodecandrum, were determined following four years of experimental N addition (100 kg hm−2 year−1 of N) in a Chinese fir plantation. Results: N addition increased the tissue N concentrations of all the understory plants by increasing soil mineral N, while N addition decreased the aboveground biomass of D. dichotoma and L. gracile significantly—by 82.1% and 67.2%, respectively. The biomass of M. dodecandrum did not respond to N addition. In contrast, N addition significantly increased the average girth growth rates and litterfall productivity of overstory trees—by 18.28% and 36.71%, respectively. NSCs, especially soluble sugar, representing immediate products of photosynthesis and main energy sources for plant growth, decreased after N addition in two of the three species. The plant NSC/N and NSC/P ratios showed decreasing tendencies, but the N/P ratio in aboveground tissue did not change with N addition. Conclusions: N addition might inhibit the growth of understory plants by decreasing the nonstructural carbohydrates and light availability indirectly rather than by changing nutrients and N/P stoichiometry directly, although species-specific responses to N deposition occurred in the Chinese fir plantation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrient Cycling in Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle
Fine Root Biomass Mediates Soil Fauna Community in Response to Nitrogen Addition in Poplar Plantations (Populus deltoids) on the East Coast of China
Forests 2019, 10(2), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10020122 - 03 Feb 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Soil fauna is critical for maintaining ecosystem functioning, and its community could be significantly impacted by nitrogen (N) deposition. However, our knowledge of how soil-faunal community composition responds to N addition is still limited. In this study, we simulated N deposition (0, 50, [...] Read more.
Soil fauna is critical for maintaining ecosystem functioning, and its community could be significantly impacted by nitrogen (N) deposition. However, our knowledge of how soil-faunal community composition responds to N addition is still limited. In this study, we simulated N deposition (0, 50, 100, 150, and 300 kg N ha−1 year−1) to explore the effects of N addition on the total and the phytophagous soil fauna along the soil profile (0–10, 10–25, and 25–40 cm) in poplar plantations (Populus deltoids) on the east coast of China. Ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) was dissolved in water and sprayed evenly under the canopy with a backpack sprayer to simulate N deposition. Our results showed that N addition either significantly increased or decreased the density (D) of both the total and the phytophagous soil fauna (Dtotal and Dp) at low or high N addition rates, respectively, indicating the existence of threshold effects over the range of N addition. However, N addition had no significant impacts on the number of groups (G) and diversity (H) of either the total or the phytophagous soil fauna (Gtotal, Gp and Htotal, Hp). With increasing soil depth, Dtotal, Dp, Gtotal, and Gp largely decreased, showing that the soil fauna have a propensity to aggregate at the soil surface. Htotal and Hp did not significantly vary along the soil profile. Importantly, the threshold effects of N addition on Dtotal and Dp increased from 50 and 100 to 150 kg N ha−1 year−1 along the soil profile. Fine root biomass was the dominant factor mediating variations in Dtotal and Dp. Our results suggested that N addition may drive changes in soil-faunal community composition by altering belowground food resources in poplar plantations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrient Cycling in Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle
Stocks and Stoichiometry of Soil Organic Carbon, Total Nitrogen, and Total Phosphorus after Vegetation Restoration in the Loess Hilly Region, China
Forests 2019, 10(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10010027 - 03 Jan 2019
Cited by 9
Abstract
The Loess Plateau is an important region for vegetation restoration in China; however, changes in soil organic carbon (SOC), soil nutrients, and stoichiometry after restoration in this vulnerable ecoregion are not well understood. Typical restoration types, including orchardland, grassland, shrubland, and forestland, were [...] Read more.
The Loess Plateau is an important region for vegetation restoration in China; however, changes in soil organic carbon (SOC), soil nutrients, and stoichiometry after restoration in this vulnerable ecoregion are not well understood. Typical restoration types, including orchardland, grassland, shrubland, and forestland, were chosen to examine changes in the stocks and stoichiometry of SOC, soil total nitrogen (TN), and soil total phosphorus (TP) at different soil depths and recovery times. Results showed that SOC stocks first increased and then stabilized in orchardland, grassland, and shrubland at 0–30 cm depths, while in forestland, SOC stocks gradually increased. Soil TN stocks first increased and then decreased in orchardland, shrubland, and forestland with restoration age at 0–30 cm depths, while soil TP stocks showed little variation between restoration types; at the same time, the overall C:N, C:P, and N:P ratios increased with restoration age. In the later stages of restoration, the stocks of SOC and soil TN at 0–30 cm soil depths were still lower than those in natural grassland and natural forest. Additionally, the SOC, soil TN, and soil TP stocks and the C:N, C:P, and N:P ratios decreased with soil depth. The forestland had the highest rate of change in SOC and soil TN stocks, at 0–10 cm soil depth. These results indicate a complex response of SOC, soil TN, and soil TP stocks and stoichiometry to vegetation restoration, which could have important implications for understanding C, N, and P changes and nutrient limitations after vegetation restoration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrient Cycling in Forest Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle
Leaf Nitrogen and Phosphorus Stoichiometry of Cyclocarya paliurus across China
Forests 2018, 9(12), 771; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9120771 - 13 Dec 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Leaf stoichiometry (nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and N:P ratio) is not only important for studying nutrient composition in forests, but also reflects plant biochemical adaptation to geographic and climate conditions. However, patterns of leaf stoichiometry and controlling factors are still unclear for most [...] Read more.
Leaf stoichiometry (nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and N:P ratio) is not only important for studying nutrient composition in forests, but also reflects plant biochemical adaptation to geographic and climate conditions. However, patterns of leaf stoichiometry and controlling factors are still unclear for most species. In this study, we determined leaf N and P stoichiometry and their relationship with soil properties, geographic and climate variables for Cyclocarya paliurus based on a nation-wide dataset from 30 natural populations in China. The mean values of N and P concentrations and N:P ratios were 9.57 mg g−1, 0.91 mg g−1 and 10.51, respectively, indicating that both leaf N and P concentrations in C. paliurus forests were lower than those of China and the global flora, and almost all populations were limited in N concentration. We found significant differences in leaf N and P concentrations and N:P ratios among the sampled C. paliurus populations. However, there were no significant correlations between soil properties (including organic C, total N and P concentrations) and leaf stoichiometry. The pattern of variation in leaf N concentration across the populations was positively correlated with latitude (24.46° N–32.42° N), but negatively correlated with mean annual temperature (MAT); meanwhile, leaf N concentration and N:P ratios were negatively correlated with mean temperature in January (MTmin) and mean annual frost-free period (MAF). Together, these results suggested that temperature-physiological stoichiometry with a latitudinal trend hold true at both global and regional levels. In addition, the relationships between leaf stoichiometry and climate variables provided information on how leaf stoichiometry of this species may respond to climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrient Cycling in Forest Ecosystems)
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