Ecosystems

, Volume 12, Issue 8, pp 1352–1368

A Quantitative Model of Soil Organic Matter Accumulation During Floodplain Primary Succession

Article

Abstract

Texture is an important influence on organic matter (SOM) dynamics in upland soils but little is known about its role in riverine soils. We hypothesized that texture might be especially important to SOM accumulation in young alluvial soils. We combined the soil component of the CENTURY ecosystem model, which uses sand, silt, and clay concentration as primary variables, with a simple simulation model of fluvial deposition, and forest production to predict changes in soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) during primary succession on floodplains and terraces of the Queets River, Washington. Simulated soil C accumulated to a plateau of about 4000 g m−2 at 110 years, closely matching observed patterns in an empirical chronosequence. Although direct fluvial OM deposition had only a small and short-lived influence on soil C, fluvial silt and clay deposition were an important influence on equilibrium C. The model underestimated soil N by about 35%, which appears to be due to failure of the model to account for N enrichment of an OM pool after its initial formation. These results suggest that basic influences on SOM retention in these young soils are not functionally different than those that apply to upland soils, but occur within highly dynamic physical contexts. Overbank deposition of silt and clay establishes a basic capacity for SOM retention. SOM, in turn, facilitates N retention. In this way, silt and clay are instrumental in propagating N forward from N-fixing red alder (Alnus rubra) stands to mature conifer forests that are frequently N-limited.

Keywords

floodplain soils sedimentation CENTURY model Queets River primary succession 

References

  1. Antoine ME. 2004. An ecophysiological approach to quantifying nitrogen fixation by Lobaria oregana. Bryologist 107:82–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bechtold JS, Edwards RT, Naiman RJ. 2003. Biotic versus hydrologic control over seasonal nitrate leaching in a floodplain forest. Biogeochemistry 63:53–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bechtold JS, Naiman RJ. Fluvial sediments control floodplain soil biogeochemistry. Ecol Monogr (unpublished).Google Scholar
  4. Bennett S, Simon A. 2004. Riparian vegetation and fluvial geomorphology. Washington DC: American Geophysical Union.Google Scholar
  5. Berntson GM, Aber JD. 2000. Fast nitrate immobilization in N saturated temperate forest soils. Soil Biol Biochem 32:151–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Binkley D, Cromack K, Baker DD. 1994. Nitrogen fixation by red alder: biology, rates and controls. In: Hibbs DE, DeBell DS, Tarrant RF, Eds. The biology and management of red alder. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press. p 57–72.Google Scholar
  7. Boyer EW, Alexander RB, Parton WJ, Li CS, Butterbach-Bahl K, Donner SD, Skaggs RW, Del Gross SJ. 2006. Modeling denitrification in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems at regional scales. Ecol Appl 16:2123–42.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Burt R, Alexander EB. 1996. Soil development on moraines of Mendenhall Glacier, southeast Alaska 2. Chemical transformations and soil micromorphology. Geoderma 72:19–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Carter V, Dale T. 1974. Topsoil and civilization, revised edition. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press.Google Scholar
  10. Chapin FS, Matson P, Mooney HA. 2002. Principles of terrestrial ecosystem ecology. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  11. Chen H, Harmon ME, Sexton J, Fasth B. 2002. Fine-root decomposition and N dynamics in coniferous forests of the Pacific Northwest, USA. Can J For Res 32:320–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Clinton SM, Edwards RT, Naiman RJ. 2002. Forest-river interactions: influence on hyporheic dissolved organic carbon concentrations in a floodplain forest. J Am Water Res Assoc 38:619–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Compton JE, Church MR, Larned ST, Hogsett WE. 2003. Nitrogen export from forested watersheds in the Oregon Coast Range: the role of N-2-fixing red alder. Ecosystems 6:773–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Corenblit D, Tabacchi E, Steiger J, Gurnell AM. 2007. Reciprocal interactions and adjustments between fluvial landforms and vegetation dynamics in river corridors: a review of complementary approaches. Earth-Sci Rev 84:56–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Correll DL. 1997. Buffer zones and water quality protection: general principles. In: Haycock N, Burt T, Goulding K, Pinay G, Eds. Buffer zones: their processes and potential in water protection. Harpenden, UK: Quest Environmental. p 7–20.Google Scholar
  16. Costa E Silva J, Wellendorf H, Pereira H. 1998. Clonal variation in wood quality and growth in young Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr.): estimation of quantitative genetic parameters and index selection for improved pulpwood. Silvae Genetica 47:20–33.Google Scholar
  17. Darke AK, Walbridge MR. 2000. Al and Fe biogeochemistry in a floodplain forest: implications for P retention. Biogeochemistry 51:1–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Davidson EA, Chorover J, Dail DB. 2003. A mechanism of abiotic immobilization of nitrate in forest ecosystems: the ferrous wheel hypothesis. Global Change Biol 9:228–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Domenach AM, Moiroud A, Jocteurmonrozier L. 1994. Leaf carbon and nitrogen constituents of some actinorhizal tree species. Soil Biol Biochem 26:649–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Edmonds RL, Blew RD. 1997. Trends in precipitation and stream chemistry in a pristine old-growth forest watershed, Olympic National Park, Washington. J Am Water Res Assoc 33:781–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Edmonds RL, Vogt DJ, Sandberg DH, Driver CH. 1986. Decomposition of Douglas-fir and red alder wood in clear-cuttings. Can J For Res 16:822–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Egli M, Wernli M, Kneisel C, Haeberli W. 2006. Melting glaciers and soil development in the proglacial area Morteratsch (Swiss Alps): I. Soil type chronosequence. Arct Antarct Alp Res 38:499–509.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fitzhugh RD, Lovett GM, Venterea RT. 2003. Biotic and abiotic immobilization of ammonium, nitrite, and nitrate in soils developed under different tree species in the Catskill Mountains, New York, USA. Global Change Biol 9:1591–601.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Franklin JF, Dyrness CT. 1973. Natural vegetation of Oregon and Washington. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Gaudinski JB, Trumbore SE, Davidson EA, Zheng SH. 2000. Soil carbon cycling in a temperate forest: radiocarbon-based estimates of residence times, sequestration rates and partitioning of fluxes. Biogeochemistry 51:33–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gill RA, Jackson RB. 2000. Global patterns of root turnover for terrestrial ecosystems. New Phytol 147:13–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gompertz B. 1825. On the nature of the function of the law of human mortality and a new mode of determining contingencies. Philos Trans R Soc London 115:513–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Groffman PM, Butterbach-Bahl K, Fulweiler RW, Gold AJ, Morse JL, Stander EK, Tague C, Tonitto C, Vidon P. 2009. Challenges to incorporating spatially and temporally explicit phenomena (hotspots and hot moments) in denitrification models. Biogeochemistry 93:49–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gurnell A, Petts G. 2006. Trees as riparian engineers: the Tagliamento River, Italy. Earth Surf Proc Land 31:1558–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Harrison KG, Post WM, Richter DD. 1995. Soil carbon turnover in a recovering temperate forest. Global Biogeochem Cycles 9:449–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hedin LO, von Fischer JC, Ostrom NE, Kennedy BP, Brown MG, Robertson GP. 1998. Thermodynamic constraints on nitrogen transformations and other biogeochemical processes at soil-stream interfaces. Ecology 79:684–703.Google Scholar
  32. Hessl AE, Milesi C, White MA, Peterson DL, Keane RE. 2004. Ecophysiological parameters for Pacific Northwest trees. Pacific Northwest Research Station: USDA Forest Service. p 20.Google Scholar
  33. Hupp CR, Osterkamp WR. 1996. Riparian vegetation and fluvial geomorphic processes. Geomorphology 14:277–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ittekkot V, Laane RWPM. 1991. Fate of riverine particulate organic matter. In: Degens E, Kempe S, Richey J, Eds. Biogeochemistry of major world rivers. Chichester, UK: John Wiley and Sons. p 233–43.Google Scholar
  35. Jenny H. 1941. Factors of soil formation, a system of quantitative pedology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  36. Johnson DW, Cheng W, Burke IC. 2000. Biotic and abiotic nitrogen retention in a variety of forest soils. Soil Sci Soc Am J 64:1503–14.Google Scholar
  37. Joint Research Centre, E.C. 2006. Simlab 2.2.Google Scholar
  38. Junk WJ, Bayley PB, Sparks RE. 1989. The flood pulse concept in river-floodplain systems. In: Dodge D, Ed. Proceedings of the international large river symposium. Can. Spec. Publ. Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. p 106.Google Scholar
  39. Kalliola R, Salo J, Puhakka M, Rajasilta M. 1991. New site formation and colonizing vegetation in primary succession on the western Amazon floodplains. J Ecol 79:877–901.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kirschbaum MUF, Paul KI. 2002. Modelling C and N dynamics in forest soils with a modified version of the CENTURY model. Soil Biol Biochem 34:341–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Latterell JJ, Bechtold JS, O’Keefe TC, Van Pelt R, Naiman RJ. 2006. Dynamic patch mosaics and channel movement in an unconfined river valley of the Olympic Mountains. Freshwat Biol 51:523–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Latterell JJ, Naiman RJ. 2007. Source and dynamics of large logs in a temperate floodplain river. Ecol Appl 17:1127–41.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. McClain ME, Boyer EW, Dent CL, Gergel SE, Grimm NB, Groffman PM, Hart SC, Harvey JW, Johnston CA, Mayorga E, McDowell WH, Pinay G. 2003. Biogeochemical hot spots and hot moments at the interface of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Ecosystems 6:301–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. McClain ME, Richey JE, Brandes JA, Pimentel TP. 1997. Dissolved organic matter and terrestrial-lotic linkages in the central Amazon basin of Brazil. Global Biogeochem Cycles 11:295–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. McCreary FR. 1975. Soil survey of Jefferson County area, Washington. Washington, DC: USDA, Soil Conservation Service, Washington Agricultural Experiment Station.Google Scholar
  46. Means JE, Hansen HA, Koerper GJ, Alaback PB, Klopsch MW. 1994. Software for computing plant biomass–BIOPAK users guide. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. p 180.Google Scholar
  47. Metherell AK, Harding LA, Cole CV, Parton WJ. 1993. CENTURY soil organic matter model environment technical documentation, agroecosystem version 4.0. Fort Collins, CO, USA: USDA-ARS. p 245.Google Scholar
  48. Microsoft. 2003. Microsoft Excel 2003. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation.Google Scholar
  49. Morozova GS, Smith ND. 2003. Organic matter deposition in the Saskatchewan River floodplain (Cumberland Marshes, Canada): effects of progradational avulsions. Sed Geol 157:15–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Nadelhoffer KJ, Raich JW. 1992. Fine root production estimates and belowground carbon allocation in forest ecosystems. Ecology 73:1139–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Naiman RJ, Sedell JR. 1979. Characterization of particulate organic matter transported by some Cascade mountain streams. J Fish Res Board Can 36:17–31.Google Scholar
  52. Nalder IA, Wein RW. 2006. A model for the investigation of long-term carbon dynamics in boreal forests of western Canada—I. Model development and validation. Ecol Model 192:37–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Nanson GC, Croke JC. 1992. A genetic classification of floodplains. Geomorphology 4:459–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. National Climate Data Center. 2005. Local climatological data, annual summary with comparative data, Quillayute Airport Washington (UIL). Asheville, NC: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Climate Data Center. p 6.Google Scholar
  55. Neff JC, Asner GP. 2001. Dissolved organic carbon in terrestrial ecosystems: synthesis and a model. Ecosystems 4:29–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Nelson PN, Baldock JA, Oades JM. 1993. Concentration and composition of dissolved organic carbon in streams in relation to catchment soil properties. Biogeochemistry 19:27–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. O’Connor JE, Jones MA, Haluska TL. 2003. Flood plain and channel dynamics of the Quinault and Queets Rivers, Washington, USA. Geomorphology 51:31–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. O’Keefe TC, Naiman RJ. 2006. The influence of forest structure on riparian litterfall in a Pacific Coastal rain forest. Can J For Res 36:2852–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Parton WJ, Schimel DS, Cole CV, Ojima DS. 1987. Analysis of factors controlling soil organic matter levels in Great Plains grasslands. Soil Sci Soc Am J 51:1173–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Pike LH. 1978. The importance of epiphytic lichens in mineral cycling. Bryologist 81:247–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Pinay G, Gumiero B, Tabacchi E, Gimenez O, Tabacchi-Planty AM, Hefting MM, Burt TP, Black VA, Nilsson C, Iordache V, Bureau F, Vought L, Petts GE, Decamps H. 2007. Patterns of denitrification rates in European alluvial soils under various hydrological regimes. Freshwat Biol 52:252–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Poff NL, Allan JD, Bain MB, Karr JR, Prestegaard KL, Richter BD, Sparks RE, Stromberg JC. 1997. The natural flow regime: a paradigm for river conservation and restoration. Bioscience 47:769–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Post WM, Kwon KC. 2000. Soil carbon sequestration and land-use change: processes and potential. Global Change Biol 6:317–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Poulton SW, Raiswell R. 2002. The low-temperature geochemical cycle of iron: from continental fluxes to marine sediment deposition. Am J Sci 302:774–805.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Ritzenthaler EAS. 1998. Biogeochemistry and hydrology of a forested floodplain backchannel: riparian and hyporheic interactions. MS Thesis, College of Forest Resources, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 79 p.Google Scholar
  66. Robertson KM, Augspurger CK. 1999. Geomorphic processes and spatial patterns of primary forest succession on the Bogue Chitto River, USA. J Ecol 87:1052–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Salo J, Kalliola R, Hakkinen I, Makinen Y, Niemela P, Puhakka M, Coley PD. 1986. River dynamics and the diversity of Amazon lowland forest. Nature 322:254–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Schumm SA. 1977. The fluvial system. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  69. Smith P, Powlson DS, Smith JU, Elliott ET. 1997. Evaluation and comparison of soil organic matter models—preface. Geoderma 81:1–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Sobol’ IM. 1993. Sensitivity estimates for Non-linear Mathematical Models. Math Model Comput Exp 1:407–14.Google Scholar
  71. Spink A, Sparks RE, Van Oorschot M, Verhoeven JTA. 1998. Nutrient dynamics of large river floodplains. Regul Rivers Res Manage 14:203–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Steiger J, Gurnell AM, Petts GE. 2001. Sediment deposition along the channel margins of a reach of the middle River Severn, UK. Regul Rivers Res Manage 17:443–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Syvitski JPM, Vorosmarty CJ, Kettner AJ, Green P. 2005. Impact of humans on the flux of terrestrial sediment to the global coastal ocean. Science 308:376–80.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  74. Tabor RW, Cady WM. 1978. Geologic map of the Olympic Peninsula. U.S. Geological Survery Miscellaneous Investigations Series Map I, 994 p.Google Scholar
  75. Thackray GD. 2001. Extensive early and middle Wisconsin glaciation on the western Olympic Peninsula, Washington, and the variability of Pacific moisture delivery to the northwestern United States. Quat Res 55:257–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Tockner K, Bunn S, Quinn GP, Naiman RJ, Stanford JA, Gordon C. 2007. Floodplains: critically threatened ecosystems. In: Polunin NC, Ed. The state of the world’s ecosystems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar
  77. Trumbore SE. 1993. Comparison of carbon dynamics in tropical and temperate soils using radiocarbon measurements. Global Biogeochem Cycles 7:275–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. U.S. Geological Service. 2006. National water information system. Availabile online at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/wa/nwis/inventory/?site_no-12040500. Accessed June 10, 2006.
  79. Uselman S, Qualls RG, Lilienfein J. 2007. Fine root production across a primary successional ecosystem chronosequence at Mt. Shasta, California. Ecosystems 10:703–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Van Cleve K, Viereck LA, Dyrness CT. 1996. State factor control of soils and forest succession along the Tanana River in interior Alaska, USA. Arct Alp Res 28:388–400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Van Pelt R, O’Keefe TC, Latterell JJ, Naiman RJ. 2006. Riparian forest stand development along the Queets River in Olympic National Park, Washington. Ecol Monogr 76:277–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Walker LR, del Moral R. 2003. Primary succession and ecosystem rehabilitation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Aquatic and Fishery SciencesUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

Personalised recommendations