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Soil fertility in boreal forest relates to root-driven nitrogen retention and carbon sequestration in the mor layer
Department of Soil and Environment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
Organismal and Evolutionary Biology Research Programme, University of Helsinki, Finland; Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics, Department of Biology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.
Örebro University, School of Science and Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4384-5014
Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology, Uppsala BioCenter, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
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2019 (English)In: New Phytologist, ISSN 0028-646X, E-ISSN 1469-8137, Vol. 221, no 3, p. 1492-1502Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Boreal forest soils retain significant amounts of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) in purely organic layers, but the regulation of organic matter turnover and the relative importance of leaf litter and root‐derived inputs are not well understood.

We combined bomb 14C dating of organic matter with stable isotope profiling for Bayesian parameterization of an organic matter sequestration model. C and N dynamics were assessed across annual depth layers (cohorts), together representing 256 yr of organic matter accumulation. Results were related to ecosystem fertility (soil inorganic N, pH and litter C : N).

Root‐derived C was estimated to decompose two to 10 times more slowly than leaf litter, but more rapidly in fertile plots. The amounts of C and N per cohort declined during the initial 20 yr of decomposition, but, in older material, the amount of N per cohort increased, indicating N retention driven by root‐derived C.

The dynamics of root‐derived inputs were more important than leaf litter dynamics in regulating the variation in organic matter accumulation along a forest fertility gradient. N retention in the rooting zone combined with impeded mining for N in less fertile ecosystems provides evidence for a positive feedback between ecosystem fertility and organic matter turnover.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Blackwell Science Ltd. , 2019. Vol. 221, no 3, p. 1492-1502
Keywords [en]
Bayesian inference, bomb C, decomposition, ecosystem fertility, fungal guilds, leaf- and root-derived C, long-term dynamics, stable isotopes
National Category
Soil Science Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-69262DOI: 10.1111/nph.15454ISI: 000459828900031PubMedID: 30281792Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85054357249OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-69262DiVA, id: diva2:1253179
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2011-1747Academy of Finland, 284601, 309581The Research Council of Norway, 223257Available from: 2018-10-04 Created: 2018-10-04 Last updated: 2019-06-18Bibliographically approved

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