, Volume 61, Issue 2, pp 218-223

Soil nitrogen patterns induced by colonization of Polygonum cuspidatum on Mt. Fuji

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The spatial pattern of soil nitrogen was analyzed for a patchy vegetation formed by the colonization of Polygonum cuspidatum in a volcanic “desert” on Mt. Fuji. Soils were sampled radially from the bare ground to the center of the patch, and analyses were done for bulk density, water content, soil acidity, organic matter, organic nitrogen, and ammonium and nitrate nitrogen. The soils matured with succession from the bare ground through P. cuspidatum to Miscanthus oligostachyus and Aster ageratoides sites: bulk density decreased, and water content, organic matter, organic nitrogen, and ammonium nitrogen increased. Nitrate nitrogen showed the highest values at the P. cuspidatum site. Application of principal component analysis to the soil data discriminated two component factors which control the variation of soil characteristics: the first factor is related to soil formation and the second factor to nitrogen mineralization and nitrification. The effect of soil formation on nitrogen mineralization and nitrification was analyzed with a first-order kinetic model. The decreasing trends with soil formation in the ratios of mineral to organic nitrogen and of nitrate to ammonium nitrogen could be accounted for by the higher activity of immobilization by microorganisms and uptake by plants in the more mature ecosystem.