, Volume 89, Issue 1, pp 7–25 | Cite as

Pools and fluxes of carbon in three Norway spruce ecosystems along a climatic gradient in Sweden

  • Dan Berggren Kleja
  • Magnus Svensson
  • Hooshang Majdi
  • Per-Erik Jansson
  • Ola Langvall
  • Bo Bergkvist
  • Maj-Britt Johansson
  • Per Weslien
  • Laimi Truusb
  • Anders Lindroth
  • Göran I. Ågren
Original Paper


This paper presents an integrated analysis of organic carbon (C) pools in soils and vegetation, within-ecosystem fluxes and net ecosystem exchange (NEE) in three 40-year old Norway spruce stands along a north-south climatic gradient in Sweden, measured 2001–2004. A process-orientated ecosystem model (CoupModel), previously parameterised on a regional dataset, was used for the analysis. Pools of soil organic carbon (SOC) and tree growth rates were highest at the southernmost site (1.6 and 2.0-fold, respectively). Tree litter production (litterfall and root litter) was also highest in the south, with about half coming from fine roots (<1 mm) at all sites. However, when the litter input from the forest floor vegetation was included, the difference in total litter input rate between the sites almost disappeared (190–233 g C m−2 year−1). We propose that a higher N deposition and N availability in the south result in a slower turnover of soil organic matter than in the north. This effect seems to overshadow the effect of temperature. At the southern site, 19% of the total litter input to the O horizon was leached to the mineral soil as dissolved organic carbon, while at the two northern sites the corresponding figure was approx. 9%. The CoupModel accurately described general C cycling behaviour in these ecosystems, reproducing the differences between north and south. The simulated changes in SOC pools during the measurement period were small, ranging from −8 g C m−2 year−1 in the north to +9 g C m−2 year−1 in the south. In contrast, NEE and tree growth measurements at the northernmost site suggest that the soil lost about 90 g C m−2 year−1.


Soil carbon Boreal ecosystems Climatic gradient CoupModel Root litter Dissolved organic carbon 



This work formed part of the LUSTRA research programme, supported by the Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research, Mistra. The authors are grateful to the staff at the experimental forests at Asa, Jädraås and Videln for skilful help with sampling and management of LUSTRA experimental areas. We are also grateful to the staff at the Department of Soil Sciences and Department of Forest Soils for help with chemical analyses, and to Mats Olsson and Tryggve Persson for valuable comments on the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dan Berggren Kleja
    • 1
  • Magnus Svensson
    • 2
  • Hooshang Majdi
    • 3
  • Per-Erik Jansson
    • 2
  • Ola Langvall
    • 4
  • Bo Bergkvist
    • 5
  • Maj-Britt Johansson
    • 6
  • Per Weslien
    • 7
  • Laimi Truusb
    • 8
  • Anders Lindroth
    • 9
  • Göran I. Ågren
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Soil SciencesSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Department of Land and Water Resources EngineeringRoyal Institute of TechnologyStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Department of EcologySwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUppsalaSweden
  4. 4.Asa Experimental Forest and Research StationSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesLammhultSweden
  5. 5.Department of EcologyUniversity of LundLundSweden
  6. 6.Department of Forest SoilsSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUppsalaSweden
  7. 7.Department of Plant and Environmental SciencesGöteborg UniversityGoteborgSweden
  8. 8.Institute of EcologyTallin UniversityTallinEstonia
  9. 9.Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem AnalysisLund UniversityLundSweden

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