The return of an experimentally N-saturated boreal forest to an N-limited state: observations on the soil microbial community structure, biotic N retention capacity and gross N mineralisation
2014 (English)In: Plant and Soil, ISSN 0032-079X, E-ISSN 1573-5036, Vol. 381, no 1-2, 45-60 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
To find out how N-saturated forests can return to an N-limited state, we examined the recovery of biotic N sinks under decreasing N supply. We studied a 40-year-old experiment in Pinus sylvestris forest, with control plots, N0, three N treatments, N1-N3, of which N3 was stopped after 20 years, allowing observation of recovery. In N3, the N concentration in foliage was still slightly elevated, but the N uptake capacity of ectomycorrhizal (ECM) roots in N3 was no longer lower than in N0. Per area the amount of a biomarker for fungi, here mainly attributed ECM, was higher in N3 and N0 than in N1 and N2. Retention of labeled (NH4)-N-15 (+) by the soil was greater in the control (99 %) and N3 (86 %), than in N1 (45 %) and N2 (29 %); we ascribe these differences to biotic retention because cation exchange capacity did not vary. Gross N mineralisation and retention of N correlated, negatively and positively, respectively, with abundance of ECM fungal biomarker. The results suggest a key role for ECM fungi in regulating the N cycle. We propose, in accordance with plant C allocation theory, that recovery is driven by increased tree below-ground C allocation to ECM roots and fungi.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Netherlands, 2014. Vol. 381, no 1-2, 45-60 p.
ectomycorrhizal fungi, N-15 natural abundance, Pinus sylvestris, recovery, reduced nitrogen deposition, root nitrogen uptake
Forest Science Biological Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-91829DOI: 10.1007/s11104-014-2091-zISI: 000339345400005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-91829DiVA: diva2:739559