Four large lysimeters on the San Dimas Experimental Forest, each filled with similar parent material and planted with monocultures of native species in 1946, provide a unique opportunity to quantify short-term effects of plant species on soil properties. The four species under which soils were investigated are scrub oak ( Quercus dumosa Nutt.), chamise ( Adenostoma fasciculatum Hook. and Arn.), ceanothus ( Ceanothus crassifolia Torr.), and Coulter pine ( Pinus coulteri B. Don). A mass-balance approach was used to measure changes in C, N, exchangeable base cations, and exchangeable acidity to a depth of 1 m in the mineral soils over a 41-year period. The C content increased in all of the soils, but the greatest change was in the soil under oak (3.7 kg m −3 more than doubling the original amount. Since the source of C in these soils is the photosynthetic fixation of atmospheric CO 2 , the mass of C accumulated reflects the magnitude of the CO 2 sink provided by chapatral soils in their initial stages of formation. The calculated rate of soil C accumulation is as much as 0.09 kg M −3 yr 1̄ The increase in N was highest in the soil under ceanothus (0.12 kg m −3 the only N 2 -fixing species in this study. Exchangeable Ca increased by 25.7 mol m −3 in the soil under oak, while the maximum increase in exchangeable Mg was 5.5 mol m −3 also under oak. Exchangeable Na was leached from all of the soils (a maximum of 2.4 mol m −3 lost from under chamise and ceanothus) and K was slightly depleted.
Geoderma – Elsevier
Published: Feb 1, 1995
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