Soil nitrogen mineralisation in a secondary rainforest succession
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- Lamb, D. Oecologia (1980) 47: 257. doi:10.1007/BF00346829
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It has been suggested that soil nitrification is inhibited as a succession develops. This hypothesis was examined in a sub tropical rain forest succession containing five successional stages. Soil mineral nitrogen was measured at the time of collection and after 20 days incubation in the laboratory or field. Sampling was carried out during the wet season and dry season. There was little difference in the ammonium nitrogen concentration at the various sites but increasing amounts of nitrate nitrogen were generally found in each older successional stage.
The data show that nitrification inhibition is not an invariable consequence of successional development. Instead the pattern of nitrogen mineralisation is probably related to the overall soil fertility and to the pool of available soil nitrogen.