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Carbon and nitrogen status of litterfall, litter decomposition and soil in even-aged larch, red pine and rigitaeda pine plantations

Carbon and nitrogen status of litterfall, litter decomposition and soil in even-aged larch, red pine and rigitaeda pine plantations

Journal of Plant Research 123(4): 403-409

ISSN/ISBN: 0918-9440

PMID: 20195884

DOI: 10.1007/s10265-010-0317-6

The carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) status in forest ecosystems can change upon establishment of plantations because different tree species have different nutrient cycling mechanisms. This study was carried out to evaluate C and N status of litterfall, litter decomposition and soil in three adjacent plantations consisting of one deciduous (larch: Larix leptolepis) and two evergreen (red pine: Pinus densiflora; rigitaeda pine: P. rigida x P. taeda) species planted in the same year (1963). Both the pine plantations showed comparatively higher C input from needle litter but significantly lower N concentration and input than the larch plantation (P < 0.05). During the decomposition process, the deciduous larch needle litter showed low C concentration and C remaining in soil, but high N concentration and N remaining in soil compared to the two evergreen pine needle litters. However, the soil C and N concentration and their content at a soil depth of 0-10 cm were not affected significantly (P > 0.05) by the plantation type. These results demonstrate the existence of considerable variation in C and N status resulting from needle litter input and litter decomposition in these three plantations grown at sites with similar environmental conditions.

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Accession: 051934242

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