, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 197–210

Nitrification potentials in early successional black locust and in mixed hardwood forest stands in the southern Appalachians, USA

  • Florencia Montagnini
  • Bruce Haines
  • Lindsay Boring
  • Wayne Swank


Soil nitrogen mineralisation and nitrification potentials, and soil solution chemistry were measured in black locust (Robinia pseudo-acacia L.), in pine-mixed hardwood stands on an early successional watershed (WS6), and in an older growth oak-hickory forest located on an adjacent, mixed hardwood watershed (WS14) at Coweeta Hydrologic laboratory, in the southern Appalachian mountains, U.S.A. Nitrification potentials were higher in black locust and pine-mixed hardwood early successional stands than in the oak-hickory forest of the older growth watershed. Ammonification rates were the main factor controlling nitrification in the early successional stands. There was no evidence of inhibition of nitrification in soils from the older growth oak-hickory forest site.

Within the early successional watershed, black locust sites had net mineralisation and nitrification rates at least twice as high as those in the pine mixed-hardwood stands. Concentrations of exchangeable nitrate in the soil of black locust stands were higher than in pine-mixed hardwoods at 0–15 cm in March and they were also higher at 0–15, 16–30 and 31–45 cm depth in the black locust dominated sites in July. Soil solution nitrate concentrations were higher under black locust than under pine-mixed hardwoods. Areas dominated by the nitrogen fixing black locust had greater nitrogen mineralisation and nitrification rates, resulting in higher potential for leaching losses of nitrate from the soil column in the early successional watershed.

Key words

nitrification nitrate leaching successional N fixation Robinia pseudoacacia 


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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff/Dr W. Junk Publishers 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Florencia Montagnini
    • 1
  • Bruce Haines
    • 1
  • Lindsay Boring
    • 2
  • Wayne Swank
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Botany and Institute of EcologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.School of Forest ResourcesUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  3. 3.US Forest Service, Coweeta Hydrologic LaboratorySoutheastern Forest Experiment StationOttoUSA

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