Ecological Research

, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 1137–1143

Variations of soil enzyme activities in a temperate forest soil

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11284-009-0594-5

Cite this article as:
Kang, H., Kang, S. & Lee, D. Ecol Res (2009) 24: 1137. doi:10.1007/s11284-009-0594-5


Soil enzyme activities (dehydrogenase, urease, phosphatase, and arylsulfatase) in a temperate forest soil were determined in relation to landscape position and seasons. Overstory of the area is dominated by Quercus mongolica, Kalopanax pictus, Carpicus cordata, and Acer pseudo-sieboldianum. The activities were measured in three patches, namely a north-facing backslope, a ridge, and a south-facing backslope in autumn and spring over 2 years. In addition, spatially more detailed analysis for phosphatase was conducted before and after litterfall production in six patches. Dehydrogenase, urease, phosphatase, and arylsulfatase activities varied 1.8–18.5 μg INT-formazan g−1 h−1, 45.4–347.0 μg NH4+ g−1 h−1, 0.9–4.5 mmol pNP g−1 h−1, and 0.7–2.6 mmol pNP g−1 h−1, respectively. In general, higher enzyme activities were found in the northern aspect than in the southern aspect. This variation appears to be related to differences in chemical properties (e.g., Fe, Al, and Mg) of soil as well as distribution of leaf litter. Two patterns were discernible in relation to seasonal variations. Dehydrogenase and urease exhibited a positive correlation with mean air temperature, suggesting that temperature would be a major controlling variable for those enzymes. In contrast, higher activities were detected in autumn for phosphatase and arylsulfatase activities, which appeared to be closely related to litter production and distribution. Overall results of this study indicate that soil enzyme activities in a forest floor are influenced by several variables such as temperature, nutrient availability, and input of leaf litter, which are closely related to landscape position.


Decomposition Forest floor Extracellular enzyme Seasonal variation Landscape ecology 

Copyright information

© The Ecological Society of Japan 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Civil and Environmental EngineeringYonsei UniversitySeoulKorea
  2. 2.Department of Environmental SciencesKangwon National UniversityChoonchunKorea
  3. 3.Graduate School of Environmental StudiesSeoul National UniversitySeoulKorea

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