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Formation of forest gaps accelerates C, N and P release from foliar litter during 4 years of decomposition in an alpine forest
Long-term Research Station of Alpine Forest Ecosystems, Key Laboratory of Ecological Forestry Engineering, Institute of Ecology and Forestry, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu, China.
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Biology. Department of Forest Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
Long-term Research Station of Alpine Forest Ecosystems, Key Laboratory of Ecological Forestry Engineering, Institute of Ecology and Forestry, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu, China.
Long-term Research Station of Alpine Forest Ecosystems, Key Laboratory of Ecological Forestry Engineering, Institute of Ecology and Forestry, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu, China.
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2018 (English)In: Biogeochemistry, ISSN 0168-2563, E-ISSN 1573-515X, Vol. 139, no 3, p. 321-335Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Relative to areas under canopy, the soils in forest gaps receive more irradiance and rainfall (snowfall); this change in microclimate induced by forest gaps may influence the release of carbon (C) and nutrients during litter decomposition. However, great uncertainty remains about the effects of forest gaps on litter decomposition. In this study, we incubated foliar litters from six tree and shrub species in forest gaps and canopy plots and measured the release of C, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in different snow cover periods in an alpine forest from 2012 to 2016. We found that N was retained by 24–46% but that P was immediately released during an early stage of decomposition. However, forest gaps decreased litter N retention, resulting in more N and P being released from decomposing litters for certain species (i.e., larch, birch and willow litters). Moreover, the release of C and nutrients during litter decomposition stimulated by forest gaps was primarily driven by warmer soil temperature in this high-altitude forest. We conclude that gap formation during forest regeneration may accelerate C turnover and nutrient cycling and that this stimulation might be regulated by the litter species in this seasonally snow-covered forest. © 2018, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 139, no 3, p. 321-335
Keywords [en]
Alpine forest, Forest gap, Litter decomposition, Nitrogen retention, Phosphorus release, Larix, Salix
National Category
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-27635DOI: 10.1007/s10533-018-0474-6ISI: 000440421100007Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85050700216OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-27635DiVA, id: diva2:1238640
Note

Funding information:

National Natural Science Foundation of China Grant no:  31622018,  31670526 and  31570445

Fok Ying-Tong Education Foundation Grant no: 161101

Sichuan Provincial Science and Technology Project for Youth Innovation Team Grant no: 2017TD0022 

Available from: 2018-08-14 Created: 2018-08-14 Last updated: 2018-09-14Bibliographically approved

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Berg, Björn

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