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Calculating the long-term stable nitrogen sink in northern European forests

Title data

Berg, Björn ; Dise, Nancy:
Calculating the long-term stable nitrogen sink in northern European forests.
In: Acta Oecologica. Vol. 26 (2004) Issue 1 . - pp. 15-21.
ISSN 1146-609x
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actao.2004.03.003

Abstract in another language

Nitrogen accumulation rates in a boreal Scots pine monoculture in central Sweden and three groups of mixed Scots pine/Norway spruce/silver birch forests in northern Sweden are estimated by using measured and calculated litter fall data, calculated limit values for litter decomposition, and the nitrogen concentration at the limit value (Nlimit). Humus has been accumulating in these forests for 120–3000 years. The Nlimit value is determined by extrapolating a linear relationship between accumulated litter mass loss and the increasing litter N concentration. Values for foliar litter fall and Nlimit are used to calculate the quantity of an hypothesized stable N fraction remaining after accumulated mass loss has reached an asymptotic plateau (the limit value). This stable remaining amount of nitrogen is compared to measured amounts of N in the humus layers of the forests. Measured rates of N accumulation in humus range from 0.147 to 0.255 g N m–2 year–1 and differ from estimated rates of N accumulation in humus by 1.8–30.4%, the higher value possibly due to a slow succession from N-poor pine to N-rich birch, not accounted for in the model. Relating the nitrogen accumulated in these forests at maturity to a nitrogen budget based on estimated rates of nitrogen input, N2 fixation, denitrification and leaching to the mineral soil gives a good agreement of about 0.30–0.35 g N m–2 year–1 stored in humus and vegetation at forest maturity. In these forests, this low rate of N accumulation and storage can apparently continue for thousands of years until the system is "reset" by forest fire. We conclude that in undisturbed boreal forests, once N is bound in recalcitrant fractions it is stable, and that the humus is thus a long-term nitrogen sink. Author Keywords: Humus; Coniferous forest; Nitrogen sink; Nitrogen deposition

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER13651
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Soil Ecology
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2015 05:56
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2015 05:56
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/20226