Seasonal changes in soil phosphorus and associated microbial properties under adjacent grassland and forest in New Zealand

Seasonal changes in soil phosphorus and associated microbial properties under adjacent grassland... Land-use change from grassland to short rotation plantation forest can have significant impacts on soil nutrient dynamics and microbial processes. Seasonal dynamics of soil phosphorus (P) and associated microbial properties were investigated in upper (0–5 cm) soils under adjacent unimproved grassland and a 19-year-old forest stand (mixture of Pinus ponderosa and Pinus nigra ). Afforestation of grassland ameliorated upper soil moisture and temperature regimes, resulting in reduced but less variable soil moisture beneath forest, and reduced temperature extremes, with soil being cooler under forest in summer, but warmer in winter. Results from this study showed that levels of soil organic carbon (C), total nitrogen (N) and organic P fractions under grassland were consistently higher, but levels of inorganic P fractions (bicarbonate extractable Pi and total Pi), microbial biomass C and P, and phosphatase enzyme activities were lower compared with forest over all seasons. Similar seasonal patterns of soil P fractions under grassland and forest demonstrated that labile organic P was mineralized by increasing microbial activity to meet increasing plant demand in spring and summer, but accumulated as a result of increased organic inputs, slower plant growth and low microbial activity in late autumn and winter. It was concluded that P recycling was mainly driven by plant P demand and sustained by root litter inputs in the grassland ecosystem and leaf litter inputs in the forest ecosystem. Seasonal changes in environmental conditions (rainfall, soil moisture and temperature) influenced microbial processes involved in P cycling. Microbial biomass plays a pivotal role in P cycling. Annual release of P through microbial biomass was higher in the forest soil (16.1 kg ha −1 ) than in the grassland soil (13.9 kg ha −1 ). The turnover rate of biomass P was also higher in the forest soil (1.28 per year) than in the grassland soil (0.80 per year). In addition, abundant C and P (particularly labile forms) and high microbial and enzyme activities found in the forest floor highlight the importance of the forest floor in P cycling. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Forest Ecology and Management Elsevier

Seasonal changes in soil phosphorus and associated microbial properties under adjacent grassland and forest in New Zealand

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V.
ISSN
0378-1127
eISSN
1872-7042
D.O.I.
10.1016/S0378-1127(02)00450-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Land-use change from grassland to short rotation plantation forest can have significant impacts on soil nutrient dynamics and microbial processes. Seasonal dynamics of soil phosphorus (P) and associated microbial properties were investigated in upper (0–5 cm) soils under adjacent unimproved grassland and a 19-year-old forest stand (mixture of Pinus ponderosa and Pinus nigra ). Afforestation of grassland ameliorated upper soil moisture and temperature regimes, resulting in reduced but less variable soil moisture beneath forest, and reduced temperature extremes, with soil being cooler under forest in summer, but warmer in winter. Results from this study showed that levels of soil organic carbon (C), total nitrogen (N) and organic P fractions under grassland were consistently higher, but levels of inorganic P fractions (bicarbonate extractable Pi and total Pi), microbial biomass C and P, and phosphatase enzyme activities were lower compared with forest over all seasons. Similar seasonal patterns of soil P fractions under grassland and forest demonstrated that labile organic P was mineralized by increasing microbial activity to meet increasing plant demand in spring and summer, but accumulated as a result of increased organic inputs, slower plant growth and low microbial activity in late autumn and winter. It was concluded that P recycling was mainly driven by plant P demand and sustained by root litter inputs in the grassland ecosystem and leaf litter inputs in the forest ecosystem. Seasonal changes in environmental conditions (rainfall, soil moisture and temperature) influenced microbial processes involved in P cycling. Microbial biomass plays a pivotal role in P cycling. Annual release of P through microbial biomass was higher in the forest soil (16.1 kg ha −1 ) than in the grassland soil (13.9 kg ha −1 ). The turnover rate of biomass P was also higher in the forest soil (1.28 per year) than in the grassland soil (0.80 per year). In addition, abundant C and P (particularly labile forms) and high microbial and enzyme activities found in the forest floor highlight the importance of the forest floor in P cycling.

Journal

Forest Ecology and ManagementElsevier

Published: Apr 7, 2003

References

  • Effects of afforestation on phosphorus dynamics and biological properties in a New Zealand grassland soil
    Chen, C.R.; Condron, L.M.; Davis, M.R.; Sherlock, R.R.
  • Fluxes of water-soluble nitrogen and phosphorus in the forest floor and surface mineral soil of a boreal aspen stand
    Huang, W.Z.; Schoenau, J.J.
  • Phosphatase and arylsulphatase activities in wetland soils: annual variation and controlling factors
    Kang, H.; Freeman, C.
  • Acid and alkaline phosphatase dynamics and their relationship to soil microclimate in a semiarid woodland
    Krämer, S.; Green, D.M.
  • Litter dynamics and monthly fluctuations in soil phosphorus availability in an Amazonian agroforest
    McGrath, D.A.; Comerford, N.B.; Duryea, M.L.

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