Plant canopy effects on litter accumulation and soil microbial biomass in two temperate forests


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Kara O. , Bolat I., Cakiroglu K., Oeztuerk M.

BIOLOGY AND FERTILITY OF SOILS, vol.45, no.2, pp.193-198, 2008 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 45 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00374-008-0327-x
  • Title of Journal : BIOLOGY AND FERTILITY OF SOILS
  • Page Numbers: pp.193-198
  • Keywords: C-mic/C-org percentage, C-org/ N-tot ratio, Leaf area index, Litter biomass, NUTRIENT DYNAMICS, EXTRACTION METHOD, ORGANIC-CARBON, LEAF-AREA, DECOMPOSITION, NITROGEN, IMPACT, ECOSYSTEMS, MANAGEMENT, RELEASE

Abstract

The objective of this study was to determine whether differences in canopy structure and litter composition affect soil characteristics and microbial activity in oak versus mixed fir-beech stands. Mean litter biomass was greater in mixed fir-beech stands (51.9t ha(-1)) compared to oak stands (15.7t ha(-1)). Canopy leaf area was also significantly larger in mixed stands (1.96m(2) m(-2)) than in oak stands (1.73m(2) m(-2)). Soil organic carbon (C-org) and moisture were greater in mixed fir-beech stands, probably as a result of increased cover. Soil microbial biomass carbon (C-mic), nitrogen (N-mic), and total soil nitrogen (N-tot) increased slightly in the mixed stand, although this difference was not significant. Overall, mixed stands showed a higher mean C-org/N-tot ratio (22.73) compared to oak stands (16.39), indicating relatively low rate of carbon mineralization. In addition, the percentage of organic C present as C-mic in the surface soil decreased from 3.17% in the oak stand to 2.26% in the mixed stand, suggesting that fir-beech litter may be less suitable as a microbial substrate than oak litter.