European Journal of Forest Research

, Volume 129, Issue 3, pp 355–365

Gap size effects on above- and below-ground processes in a silver fir stand

  • Adele Muscolo
  • Maria Sidari
  • Silvio Bagnato
  • Carmelo Mallamaci
  • Roberto Mercurio
Original Paper

Abstract

Changes in soil properties related to natural regeneration of silver fir (Abies alba, Mill.) in small (185 m2) and medium (410 m2) gaps, in the Calabria Apennines (Southern Italy), were studied 2 years after gap creation. The organic matter within the medium gaps decayed more rapidly than those in the small gaps. Among the microenvironmental variables and soil properties, soil temperature was most strongly positively related to organic matter decomposition rates. Medium gaps had high soil temperature and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) transmittance, and low soil moisture. Within medium gaps, we found a great amount of phenolic compounds and a low content of organic matter and humic acids. These results indicate that in the medium gaps mineralization of organic matter was more important than humification. In contrast, in small gaps, the great amount of organic matter, the high content of humic acid and the values of humification index suggested that in these gaps the humification process of organic matter prevailed. Within small gaps, we observed more silver fir regeneration than medium gaps. Difference in organic matter content, particularly in the amount of phenolic compounds, may account for differences observed in natural regeneration of silver fir between small and medium gaps.

Keywords

Artificial gaps Humification index Organic matter Phenolic compounds Silver fir Soil properties 

References

  1. Albanesi E, Gugliotta OI, Mercurio I, Mercurio R (2008) Effects of gap size and within-gap position on seedlings establishment in silver fir stands. i For Biogeosci For 1:55–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ammer C (1996) Impact of ungulates on structure and dynamics of natural regeneration of mixed mountain forests in Bavarian Alps. For Ecol Manage 88:43–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Arunachalam A, Arunachalam K (2000) Influence of gap size and soil properties on microbial biomass in a subtropical humid forest of north-east India. Plant Soil 223:185–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Arunachalam A, Maithani K, Pandey HN, Tripathi RS (1996) The impact of disturbance on detrital dynamics and soil microbial biomass of a Pinus kesiya forest in north-east India. For Ecol Manage 88:273–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Aunós A, Blanco R, Canet MA, Sangerman M (2003) Pautas de regeneracion en las masas monospecificas de abeto (Abies alba) y haya (Fagus sylvatica) del Valle de Aran. Actas de la III reunion sobre regeneracion natural. Cuad. Societas Espanoles Ciencias Forestales 15(2):7–12Google Scholar
  6. Aunós A, Martínez ER, Blanco R (2007) Tipología selvícola para los abetales españoles de Abies alba Mill. Investigación Agraria: Sistemas y Recursos Forestales 16:52–64Google Scholar
  7. Barbagallo C, Brullo S, Furnari F, Longhitano N, Signorello P (1982) Studio fitosociologico e cartografia della vegetazione (1:25.000) del territorio di Serra S. Bruno (Calabria). C.N.R. Collana Programma Finalizzato “Promozione della Qualità dell’Ambiente”, Roma, pp 1–19Google Scholar
  8. Bauhus J, Vor T, Bartsch N, Bowling A (2004) The effects of gaps and liming on forest floor decomposition and soil C and N dynamics in a Fagus sylvatica forest. Can J For Res 34:509–518CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bengtsson J, Nilsson SG, Franc A, Menozzi P (2000) Biodiversity, disturbances, ecosystem function and management of European forests. For Ecol Manage 132:39–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bettany JR, Saggar S, Stewart JWB (1980) Comparison of the amount and forms of sulphur in soil organic matter fractions after 65 years of cultivation. Soil Sci Soc Am J 44:70–75Google Scholar
  11. Blum U, Gerig TM, Weed SB (1989) Effects of mixtures of phenolic acids on leaf area expansion of cucumber seedlings grown in different pH Portsmuth A1 soil materials. J Chem Ecol 15:2413–2423CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bonan GB (1990) Carbon and nitrogen cycling in North American boreal forests. 1. Litter quality and soil thermal effects in interior Alaska. Biogeochemistry 10:1–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Boufalis A, Pellissier F (1994) Allelopathic effects of phenolic mixtures on respiration of two spruce mycorrhizal fungi. J Chem Ecol 20:2283–2289CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Bouyoucos GJ (1962) Hydrometer method improved for making particle-size analyses of soils. Agron J 54:464–465Google Scholar
  15. Box JD (1983) Investigation of the Folin–Ciocalteau reagent for the determination of polyphenolic substances in natural waters. Water Res 17:511–525CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Bremner JM, Mulvaney CS (1982) Nitrogen-total. In: Page AL, Miller RH, Keeney DR (eds) Methods of soil analysis. American Society of Agronomy, Madison, pp 595–624Google Scholar
  17. Brown N (1993) The implication of climate and gap microclimate for seedling growth conditions in a boreal low land forest. J Trop Ecol 9:153–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Buckman HO, Brady NC (1969) The nature and properties of soils. Macmillan Co, LondonGoogle Scholar
  19. Cavani L, Ciavatta C, Gessa C (2003) Identification of organic matter from peat, leonardite and lignite fertilisers using humification parameters and electrofocusing. Biores Technol 86:45–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Chaves N, Sosa T, Alýas JC, Escudero JC (2001) Identification and effect of interaction phytotoxic compounds from exudate of Cistus ladanifer leaves. J Chem Ecol 27:611–621CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Chen CR, Condron LM, Davis MR, Sherlock RR (2003) Seasonal changes in soil phosphorus and associated microbial properties under adjacent grassland and forest in New Zealand. For Ecol Manage 177:539–557CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Chiapusio G, Sanchez M, Reigosa MJ, Gonzalez L, Pellissier L (1997) Do germination indices adequately reflect allelochemical effects on the germination process? J Chem Ecol 23:2445–2453CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ciavatta C, Antisari VL, Sequi P (1998) A first approach to the determination of the presence of humified materials in organic fertilizers. Agrochimica 30:510–517Google Scholar
  24. Clark DB (1990) The role of disturbance in the regeneration of neotropical moist forest. In: Bawa KS, Hadley M (eds) Reproductive ecology of tropical forest plants. UNESCO, Paris, pp 291–315Google Scholar
  25. Coates KD, Burton PJ (1997) A gap-based approach of development of silvicultural system to address ecosystem management objectives. For Ecol Manage 99:337–354CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Dahir SE, Lorimer CG (1996) Variation in canopy formation among developmental stages of northern hardwood stands. Can J For Res 26:1875–1892CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Dai X (1996) Influence of light conditions in canopy gaps on forest regeneration: a new gap light index and its application in a boreal forest in eat-central Sweden. For Ecol Manage 84:187–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Davidson EA, Ackerman IL (1993) Changes in soil carbon inventories following cultivation of previously untilled soils. Biogeochemistry 20:161–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Davidson EA, Hart SC, Firestone MK (1992) Internal cycling of nitrate in soils of a mature coniferous forest. Ecology 73:1148–1156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Denslow JS (1980) Patterns of plant species diversity during succession under different disturbance regimes. Oecologia 46:18–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Denslow JS (1987) Tropical rainforest gaps and tree species diversity. Ann Rev Ecol Syst 18:431–451CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Djurdjević L, Dinić A, Mitrović M, Pavlović P, Tešević V (2003) Phenolic acids distribution in a peat of the relict community with Serbian spruce in the Tara Mt. Forest Reserve (Serbia). Eur J Soil Biol 39:97–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Einhellig FA (1986) Mechanisms and modes of action of allelochemicals. In: Putnam AP, Teng CS (eds) The science of allelopathy. John Wiley & Sons, New York, pp 170–188Google Scholar
  34. FAO (1997) Situation des forêts du monde. World Publications, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  35. Gagnon JL, Jokela EJ, Moser WK, Huber DA (2003) Dynamics of artificial regeneration in gaps within a longleaf pine flatwoods ecosystem. For Ecol Manage 172:133–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Gallet C, Lebreton P (1995) Evolution of phenolic patterns in plants and associated litters and humus of a mountain forest ecosystem. Soil Biol Biochem 27:157–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Gendron F, Messier C, Comeau PG (1998) Comparison of various methods for estimating the mean growing season percent photosynthetic photon flux density in forests. Agric For Meteorol 92:55–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Gigliotti G, Businelli D, Giusquiani PG (1999) Composition changes of soil humus after massive application of urban waste compost: a comparison between FT-IR spectroscopy and humification parameters. Nutr Cycl Agroecos 55:23–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Gray AN, Spies TA (1996) Gap size, within-gap position and canopy structure effects on conifer seedling establishment. J Ecol 84:635–645CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Hartshorn GS (1978) Tree falls and tropical forest dynamics. In: Tomlinson PB, Zimmermann MH (eds) Tropical trees as living system. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 617–638Google Scholar
  41. Hättenschwiler S, Vitousek PM (2000) The role of polyphenols in terrestrial ecosystem nutrient cycling. Trends Ecol Evol 15:238–243CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Hobbie SE (1992) Effects of plant species on nutrient cycling. Trends Ecol Evol 7:336–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Hoshino D, Nishimura N, Yamamoto S (2003) Effects of canopy conditions on the regeneration of major tree species in an old-growth Chamaecyparis obtusa forest in central Japan. For Ecol Manage 175:141–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Hubbell SP, Foster RB (1986) Canopy gaps and the dynamics of a neotropical forest. In: Crawley MJ (ed) Plant ecology. Blackwell Scientific, Oxford, pp 77–96Google Scholar
  45. Inderjit (2005) Soil microorganisms: an important determinant of allelopathic activity. Plant Soil 274:227–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Kaminsky R, Muller WH (1977) The extraction of soil phytotoxins using a neutral EDTA solution. Soil Sci 124(4):205–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Kaminsky R, Muller WH (1978) A recommendation against the use of alkaline soil extraction in the study of allelopathy. Plant Soil 49:641–645CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Kneeshaw DD, Bergeron Y (1998) Canopy gap characteristics and tree replacement in the southeastern boreal forest. Ecology 79:783–794CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Kuiters AT, Denneman CAJ (1987) Water-soluble phenolic substances in soils under several coniferous and deciduous tree species. Soil Biol Biochem 19:765–769CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Likens GE, Bormann RS (1995) Biogeochemistry of a forested ecosystem, 2nd edn. Springer, New York, p 159Google Scholar
  51. Lorimer CG (1989) Relative effects of small and large disturbances on temperate hardwood forest structure. Ecology 70:565–567CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Lyu SW, Blum U, Gerig TM, OþBrien TE (1990) Effects of mixtures of phenolic acids on phosphorus uptake by cucumber seedlings. J Chem Ecol 16:2559–2567CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Maffei M, Bertea MC, Garneri F, Scannerini S (1999) Effect of benzoic acid hydroxy- and methoxy-ring substituents during cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) germination. Isocitrate lyase and catalase activity. Plant Sci 141:139–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Martínez-Ramos M, Álvarez-Buylla E, Sarukhán J (1989) Tree demography and gap dynamics in a tropical rain forest. Ecology 70:555–558CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Mehlich A (1953) Rapid determination of cation and anion exchange properties and pH of soils. J Ass Off Agri Chem 36:445–457Google Scholar
  56. Melkania NP (1992) Allelopathy in forest and agroecosystems in the Himalayan region. In: Rizvi SJH, Rizvi V (eds) Allelopathy: basic and applied aspects. Chapman & Hall, London, pp 371–388Google Scholar
  57. Muscolo A, Sidari M (2006) Seasonal fluctuations in soil phenolics of a coniferous forest: effects on seed germination of different coniferous species. Plant Soil 284:305–318CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Muscolo A, Panuccio MR, Sidari M (2001) The effects of phenolics compounds extracted from two different forest soils in Aspromonte Southern Italy on germination of Pinus laricio seeds. Fresenius Environ Bull 10:659–663Google Scholar
  59. Muscolo A, Panuccio MR, Sidari M (2002) Glyoxylate cycle in germination of Pinus laricio seeds: effects of phenolic compounds extracted from different forest soils. Plant Growth Regul 37:1–5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Muscolo A, Panuccio MR, Sidari M, De Santis C, Finocchiaro A (2005) Early effects of phenolic compounds extracted from two forest litters, on ammonium uptake and assimilation in Pinus laricio and Pinus pinaster seedlings. Plant Soil 269:309–320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Muscolo A, Sidari M, Mercurio R (2007a) Variations in soil chemical properties and microbial biomass in artificial gaps in silver fir stand. Eur J For Res 126:59–65Google Scholar
  62. Muscolo A, Sidari M, Mercurio R (2007b) Influence of gap size on organic matter decomposition, microbial biomass and nutrient cycle in Calabria pine (Pinus laricio, Poiret) stand. For Ecol Manage 242:412–418CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Myrold DD (1999) Transformations of nitrogen. In: Sylvia DM, Fuhrmann JJ, Hartel PG, Zuberer DA (eds) Principles and applications of soil microbiology. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, USA, pp 259–294Google Scholar
  64. Nelson DW, Sommers LE (1982) Total carbon, organic carbon, and organic matter. In: Page AL, Miller RH, Keeney DR (eds) Methods of soil analysis. American Society of Agronomy, Madison, pp 539–579Google Scholar
  65. Northup RR, Dahlgren RA, Mc Coll JG (1998) Polyphenols as regulators of plant-litter-soil interactions in northern California’s pygmy forest: a positive feedback? Biogeochemistry 42:189–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Paluch JG (2005) The influence of the spatial pattern of trees on forest floor vegetation and silver fir (Abies alba Mill) regeneration in uneven-aged forests. For Ecol Manage 205:283–298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Parish R, Antos JA (2004) Structure and dynamics of an ancient montane forest in coastal British Columbia. Oecologia 141:562–576CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  68. Pettersson F, Hogbom L (2004) Long-term growth effects following forest nitrogen fertilization in Pinus sylvestris and Picea abies stands in Sweden. Scand J For Res 19:339–347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Reigosa MJ, Sánchez-Moreiras AM, Gonzáles L (1999) Ecophysiological approach to allelopathy. Crit Rev Plant Sci 18:577–608CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Riddoch I, Lehto T, Grace J (1991) Photosynthesis of tropical tree seedlings in relation to light and nutrient supply. New Phytol 85:137–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Runkle JR (1981) Gap formation in some old growth forests of the eastern United States. Ecology 62:1041–1051CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Scharembroch BC, Bockheim EJG (2007) Impacts of forest gaps on soil properties and processes in old growth northern hardwood-hemlock forests. Plant Soil 294:219–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Sert MA, Ferraresi MLL, Bernadelli YR, Kelmer-Bracht AM, Bracht A, Ishii-Iwamoto EL (1997) Effect of ferulic acid on l-malate oxidation in isolated soybean mitochondria. Biol Plantarum 40:345–350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Siegler DS, Seilheimer S, Keesy J, Huang HF (1986) Tannins from four common Acacia species of Texas and northeastern Mexico. Econ Bot 40:220–232Google Scholar
  75. Soil Survey Staff (2003) Soil taxonomy: a basic system of soil classification for making and interpreting soil surveys, 2nd edn. USDA, Washingthon, DCGoogle Scholar
  76. Sokal RR, Rohlf FJ (1981) Biometry, 2nd edn. Freeman & Co, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  77. Splechtna BE, Gratzer G, Black BA (2005) Disturbance history of a European old-growth mixed-species forest—a spatial dendro-ecological analysis. J Veg Sci 16:511–522Google Scholar
  78. Stanciou PT, O’Hara KL (2006) Leaf area and growth efficiency of regeneration in mixed species, multiaged forests of the Romanian Carpathians. For Ecol Manage 222:55–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Sugai SF, Schimel JP (1993) Decomposition and biomass incorporation of 14C-labeled glucose and phenolics in taiga forest floor: effect of substrate quality, successional state, and season. Soil Biol Biochem 25:1379–1389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Tamm CO (1991) Nitrogen in terrestrial ecosystems. Ecological studies 81. Springer, Berlin, p 115Google Scholar
  81. Taylor BR, Parkinson D, Parson WFJ (1989) Nitrogen and lignin content as predictors of lignin decay rates. A microcosm test. Ecology 70:97–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Thiel AL, Perakis SS (2009) Nitrogen dynamics across silvicultural canopy gaps in young forests of western Oregon. For Ecol Manag 258:273–287CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Trofymow JA, Moore TR, Titus B, Prescott C, Morrison I, Siltanen M, Smith S, Fyles J, Wein R, Camiré C, Duschene L, Kozak L, Kranabetter M, Visser S (2002) Rates of litter decomposition over 6 years in Canadian forests: influence of litter quality and climate. Can J For Res 32:789–804CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Van der Meer PJ, Bongers F, Chatrou L, Riera B (1994) Defining canopy gaps in a tropical rain forest: effects on gap size and turnover time. Acta Oecol 15:701–714Google Scholar
  85. Vance ED, Brookes PC, Jenkinson DS (1987) An extraction method for measuring soil microbial biomass C. Soil Biol Biochem 19:703–707CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Walkley A, Black IA (1934) An examination of the Degtjareff method for determining soil organic matter and a proposed modification of the chromic acid titration method. Soil Sci 37:29–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Wiese AM, Binning LK (1987) Calculating the threshold temperature of development for weeds. Weed Sci 35:177–179Google Scholar
  88. Wright EF, Coates KD, Bartemucci P (1998) Regeneration from seed of six tree species in the interior cedar hemlock forests of British Columbia as affected by substrate and canopy gap position. Can J For Res 28:1352–1364CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adele Muscolo
    • 1
  • Maria Sidari
    • 1
  • Silvio Bagnato
    • 1
  • Carmelo Mallamaci
    • 1
  • Roberto Mercurio
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural and Forest Systems Management, Faculty of Agriculture“Mediterranea” University of Reggio Calabria Feo di VitoReggio CalabriaItaly

Personalised recommendations