Changes in land use can affect soil organic matter contents and fertility and also atmospheric CO 2 concentrations and global warming through soil respiration. We compared total and microbial C, N and P pools and C and N metabolism in sandy loam soils (Typic Udivitrands) under indigenous broadleaf-podocarp forest, grazed introduced pasture and 19-yr old Pinus radiata D. Don forest (planted on previous pasture) in New Zealand. Total and microbial C and N declined consistently with profile depth (except for total N in L and FH samples), and in comparable depths of mineral soil (to 20 cm) tended to be lower in the pine than in the other systems. Total P, organic P and extractable inorganic P concentrations at comparable depths were, in contrast, lowest in the indigenous forest. Microbial P concentrations did not differ significantly between the different systems. Microbial C-to-microbial N ratios differed little among soil profile depths and ecosystems. In 0–10 cm depth mineral soil, CO 2 -C production, metabolic quotients ( q CO 2 values) and net N mineralization were all highest in the pasture samples. Net nitrification was high in the pine and pasture samples, but much lower in the indigenous forest samples; nitrate-N was, however, consistently present in streamwater from all three ecosystems. Changes in total C and microbial C and N pools on an area basis to 20 cm depth mineral soil were greatest after conversion of the indigenous forest to pasture; total N contents were, however, as high in the pasture as in the forest and net N mineralization was highest in the pasture. On this area basis, changes in total C contents were small after conversion of pasture to pines, although the distribution within the soil profile did differ considerably between the pine and pasture systems.
Soil Biology and Biochemistry – Elsevier
Published: Jun 1, 1999
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