Carbon (C) and nutrients storages in soil organic layer play an important role in forest productivity in the alpine-gorge area. However, forest gaps during forest regeneration could regulate carbon and nutrients stocks in soil organic layer by controlling hydro-thermal environment conditions, but little information has been available on it. Therefore, concentrations and stocks of carbon, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in fresh litter layer (LL), fragmented litter layer (FL) and humified litter layer (HL) were investigated from gap center, canopy gap and expanded gap to closed canopy in an alpine forest of eastern Tibetan Plateau in later fall (October, 2013). The results showed that the forest gaps reduced the thicknesses of LL and FL, but increased the thickness of HL. Carbon concentrations in LL and FL decreased as affected by forest gaps, whereas both N and P concentrations increased regardless of soil organic layers. Moreover, forest gaps reduced C, N and P stocks in LL and FL, although which in HL increased. In addition, C, N and P stocks were significantly related to negative accumulated temperature regardless of soil organic layers. These results suggest that forest gap could promote carbon and nutrient releases from fresh litters, but limit carbon and nutrients output from humified litters in these alpine forests.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: May 28, 2015
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