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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
Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden.
Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden.
Department of Forest Ecology and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden.
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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
Abstract [en]

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.
Keyword [en]
ectomycorrhizal fungi, N-15 natural abundance, Pinus sylvestris, recovery, reduced nitrogen deposition, root nitrogen uptake
National Category
Forest Science Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-91829DOI: 10.1007/s11104-014-2091-zISI: 000339345400005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-91829DiVA: diva2:739559
Available from: 2014-08-21 Created: 2014-08-18 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved

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Holm Bach, Lisbet

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