Advertisement

Biogeochemistry

, Volume 102, Issue 1–3, pp 239–249 | Cite as

Importance of soil calcium for composition of understory vegetation in boreal forests of Finnish Lapland

  • Paavo NärhiEmail author
  • Maarit Middleton
  • Nils Gustavsson
  • Eija Hyvönen
  • Marja-Liisa Sutinen
  • Raimo Sutinen
Article

Abstract

To focus conservation efforts into forest areas with high biodiversity, more information is needed about soil-vegetation dependencies in Finnish Lapland. We studied understory vegetation and soil variables along a transect across a felsic–mafic lithological sequence in central Finnish Lapland. At 119 northern boreal forest sites, coverages of understory vegetation, several mineral soil chemical elements, soil electrical conductivity, pH, and dielectric permittivity, as a measure of soil volumetric water content, were measured. We found that soil Ca concentration and Ca:Al ratio were the main variables determining vegetation composition and diversity. Ca-rich soils were characterised by high electrical conductivity, pH, and Mg concentration, and by low concentration of Al, S, Zn, and low C:N ratio. Soil Ca concentration is a diagnostic measure of plant diversity as concentration higher than 100 mg kg−1 resulted in a considerable increase in plant diversity. Sites with Ca concentration this high were rare, and probably important in maintaining high biodiversity. The median soil Ca:Al ratio was only 0.02, suggesting, according to general theory, a considerable risk for aluminium stress. We found Geranium sylvaticum and Rubus saxatilis to be good indicators for Ca-rich regimes and high plant diversity.

Keywords

Calcium Ca:Al ratio Nonmetric multidimensional scaling Geranium sylvaticum Rubus saxatilis Boreal forest 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This article was a part of the project “Forest soils and global change” at the Geological Survey of Finland focusing on soil electrical classification. The comments by two anonymous referees and Associate Editor Nancy Dise significantly improved the manuscript. The expertise in field measurements by Matti Piekkari (Geological Survey of Finland, Rovaniemi) and Aleksi Sutinen (Kastelli senior high, Oulu) is greatly appreciated. Kent Middleton revised the language.

References

  1. Akselsson C, Holmqvist J, Kurz D, Sverdrup H (2006) Relations between elemental content in till, mineralogy of till and bedrock mineralogy in the province of Småland, southern Sweden. Geoderma 136:643–659CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Amundsen R, Harden JW, Singer MJ (eds) (1994) Factors of soil formation: a fiftieth anniversary perspective. Soil Sci Soc Am Spec Publ no 33. SSSA, MadisonGoogle Scholar
  3. Augusto L, Ranger J, Binkley D, Rothe A (2002) Impact of several common tree species of European temperate forests on soil fertility. Ann For Sci 59:233–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barbier S, Gosselin F, Balandier P (2008) Influence of tree species on understory vegetation diversity and mechanisms involved—a critical review for temperate and boreal forests. For Ecol Manage 254:1–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Berendse F, Berg B, Bosetta E (1987) The effect of lignin and nitrogen on the decomposition of litter in nutrient-poor ecosystems: a theoretical approach. Can J Bot 65:1116–1120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Berg B, Ekbohm G, Johansson MB, McClaugherty C, Rutigliano FA, Virzo de Santo A (1996) Maximum decomposition limits of forest litter types: a synthesis. Can J Bot 74:659–672CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Berggren D, Mulder J (1995) The role of organic matter in controlling aluminium solubility in acidic mineral horizons. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 59:4167–4180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bray JR, Curtis JT (1957) An ordination of the upland forest communities of southern Wisconsin. Ecol Monogr 27:325–349CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brown G, Brinkmann K (1992) Heavy metal tolerance in Festuca ovina L. from contaminated sites in the Eifel mountains, Germany. Plant Soil 143:239–247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cronan CS, Grigal DF (1995) Use of calcium/aluminium ratios as indicators of stress in forest ecosystems. J Environ Qual 24:209–226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. De Wit HA, Mulder J, Nygaard PH, Aamlid D, Huse M, Kortnes E, Wollebæk G, Brean R (2001) Aluminium: the need for a re-evaluation of its toxicity and solubility in mature forest stands. Water Air Soil Pollut 1:103–118Google Scholar
  12. Diekmann M, Falkengren-Grerup U (1998) A new species index for forest vascular plants: development of functional indices based on mineralization rates of various forms of soil nitrogen. J Ecol 86:269–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Elgersma AM, Dhillion SS (2002) Geographical variability of relationships between forest communities and soil nutrients along a temperature-fertility gradient in Norway. For Ecol Manage 158:155–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Eltrop L, Brown G, Joachim O, Brinkmann K (1991) Lead tolerance of Betula and Salix in the mining area of Mechernich/Germany. Plant Soil 131:275–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Feoli E, Orlóci L (1991) The properties and interpretation of observations in vegetation study. Coenoses 6:61–70Google Scholar
  16. Fisher RF, Binkley D (2000) Ecology and management of forest soils. John Wiley and Sons, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  17. Garcia R, Millán E (1988) Assessment of Cd, Pb and Zn in roadside soils and grasses from Gipuzkoa (Spain). Chemosphere 37:1615–1625CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Garland CJ, Wilkins DA (1981) Effect of calcium on the uptake and toxicity of lead in Hordeum vulgare L. and Festuca ovina L. New Phytol 87:581–593CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hämet-Ahti L, Suominen J, Ulvinen T, Uotila P (eds) (1998) Retkeilykasvio (Field flora of Finland). Botanical Museum, Finnish Museum of Natural History, HelsinkiGoogle Scholar
  20. Högberg P, Jensén P (1994) Aluminium and uptake of base cations by tree roots: a critique of the model proposed by Sverdrup et al. Water Air Soil Pollut 75:121–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hokkanen PJ (2006) Environmental patterns and gradients in the vascular plants and bryophytes of eastern Fennoscandian herb-rich forests. For Ecol Manage 229:73–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kenkel NC, Orlóci L (1986) Applying metric and nonmetric multidimensional scaling to ecological studies: some new results. Ecology 67:919–928CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kinzel H (1983) Influence of limestone, silicates and soil pH on vegetation. In: Lange OL, Nobel PS, Osmond CB, Ziegler HJ (eds) Physiological plant ecology III. Springer, Berlin, pp 201–244Google Scholar
  24. Koljonen T (ed) (1992) The geochemical atlas of Finland 2: till. Geological Survey of Finland, EspooGoogle Scholar
  25. Koptsik SV, Koptsik GN, Livantsova SY, Berezina NA, Vakhrameeva MG (2003) Analysis of the relationship between soil and vegetation in forest biogeocenoses by the principal component method. Russ J Ecol 34:37–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kruskal JB (1964) Multidimensional scaling by optimizing goodness of fit to a nonmetric hypothesis. Psychometrica 29:1–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kuusipalo J (1985) An ecological study of upland forest site classification in southern Finland. Acta For Fenn 192:1–77Google Scholar
  28. Kuusipalo J (1996) Suomen metsätyypit (Finnish forest types). KirjayhtymäGoogle Scholar
  29. Lahdenperä A-M, Tamminen P, Tarvainen T (2001) Relationships between geochemistry of basal till and chemistry of surface soil at forested sites in Finland. Appl Geochem 16:123–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lahti T, Väisänen RA (1987) Ecological gradients of boreal forest in south Finland: an ordination test of Cajander’s forest type theory. Vegetatio 68:145–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lenière A, Houle G (2006) Response of herbaceous plant diversity to reduced structural diversity in maple-dominated (Acer sacharum Marsh.) forest managed for sap extraction. For Ecol Manage 234:305–312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lestinen P (1980) Peurasuvannon karttalehtialueen geokemiallisen kartoituksen tulokset (Results of geochemical survey on Peurasuvanto map sheet). Geological Survey of Finland, EspooGoogle Scholar
  33. Levin SA (1992) The problem of pattern and scale in ecology. Ecology 73:1943–1967CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. McBride RA, Gordon AM, Shrive SC (1990) Estimating forest soil quality from terrain measurements of apparent electrical conductivity. Soil Sci Soc Am J 54:290–293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. McClaugherty CA, Berg B (1987) Cellulose, lignin and nitrogen concentrations as rate regulating factors in late stages of forest litter decomposition. Pedobiologia 30:101–112Google Scholar
  36. Minchin PR (1987) An evaluation of the robustness of techniques for ecological ordination. Vegetatio 69:89–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Nieppola JJ, Carleton TJ (1991) Relations between understorey vegetation, site productivity, and environmental factors in Pinus sylvestris L. stands in southern Finland. Vegetatio 93:57–72Google Scholar
  38. Økland T (1996) Vegetation–environment relationships of boreal spruce forests in ten monitoring reference areas in Norway. Sommerfeltia 22:1–349Google Scholar
  39. Økland RH, Eilertsen O (1993) Vegetation–environment relationships of boreal coniferous forests in the Solhomfjell area, Gjerstad, S Norway. Sommerfeltia 16:1–254Google Scholar
  40. Oksanen J (1983) Ordination of boreal heath-like vegetation with principal component analysis, correspondence analysis and multidimensional scaling. Vegetatio 52:181–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Oksanen J, Kindt R, Legendre P, O’Hara Simpson GL, Solymos P, Stevens MHH, Wagner H (2008) Vegan. Community ecology package. http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/vegan
  42. Orlóci L (1967) An agglomerative method for classification of plant communities. J Ecol 55:193–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Pärtel M, Helm A, Ingerpuu N, Ülle R, Tuvi E (2004) Conservation of northern European plant diversity: the correspondence with soil pH. Biol Conserv 120:525–531CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Puranen R, Sulkanen K, Nissinen R, Simelius P (1999) Ominaisvastusluotaimet ja vastustalikot (Resistivity probes and forks). Unpublished report Q15/27.4/99/2.8. Geological Survey of Finland, EspooGoogle Scholar
  45. Reimann C, Äyräs M, Chekushin V, Bogatyrev I, Boyd R, de Caritat P, Dutter R, Finne TE, Halleraker JH, Jæger Ø, Kashulina G, Lehto O, Niskavaara H, Pavlov V, Räisänen ML, Strand T, Volden T (1998) Environmental geochemical atlas of the central Barents region. Geological Survey of Norway, TrondheimGoogle Scholar
  46. Reinikainen A, Mäkipää R, Vanha-Majamaa I, Hotanen J-P (eds) (2001) Kasvit muuttuvassa metsäluonnossa (Changes in the frequency and abundance of forest and mire plants in Finland since 1950). Tammi, HelsinkiGoogle Scholar
  47. Rhoades JD, Raats PA, Prather RJ (1976) Effects of liquid-phase electrical conductivity, water content, and surface conductivity on the bulk soil electrical conductivity. Soil Sci Soc Am J 40:651–655CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Rodríguez-Loinaz G, Onaindia M, Amezaga I, Mijangos I, Garbisu C (2008) Relationship between vegetation diversity and soil functional diversity in native mixed-oak forests. Soil Biol Biochem 40:49–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Shannon CE, Weaver W (1949) The mathematical theory of communication. The University of Illinois Press, UrbanaGoogle Scholar
  50. Simon E (1978) Heavy metals in soils, vegetation development and heavy metal tolerance in plant populations from metalliferous areas. New Phytol 81:175–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Sjögersten S, Wookey PA (2005) The role of soil organic matter quality and physical environment for nitrogen mineralization at the forest-tundra ecotone in Fennoskandia. Arct Antarct Alp Res 37:118–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Ström L, Olsson T, Tyler G (1994) Differences between calcifuge and acidifuge plants in root exudation of low-molecular organic acids. Plant Soil 167:239–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Suominen O, Olofsson J (2000) Impacts of semi-domesticated reindeer on structure of tundra and forest communities in Fennoscandia: a review. Ann Zool Fenn 37:233–249Google Scholar
  54. Sutinen R, Pänttäjä M, Teirilä A, Sutinen M-L (2006) Effect of mechanical site preparation on soil quality in former Norway spruce sites. Geoderma 136:411–422CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Sverdrup H, Warfvinge P (1993) The effect of soil acidification on the growth of trees, grass and herbs as expressed by the (Ca+Mg+K)/Al ratio. Reports in ecology and environmental engineering 2. Lund University, LundGoogle Scholar
  56. R Development Core Team (2008) R. http://www.r-project.org
  57. Toivonen H, Leivo A (1993) Kasvillisuuskartoituksessa käytettävä kasvillisuus-ja kasvupaikkaluokitus (Classification of vegetation and sites to vegetation surveys). Metsähallituksen luonnonsuojelujulkaisuja A 14. MetsähallitusGoogle Scholar
  58. Tonteri T, Mikkola K, Lahti T (1990) Compositional gradients in the forest vegetation of Finland. J Veg Sci 1:691–698CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Treeby M, Marschner H, Römheld V (1989) Mobilization of iron and other micronutrient cations from a calcareous soil by plantborne, microbial and synthetic metal chelators. Plant Soil 114:217–226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Tuominen S, Eeronheimo H, Toivonen H (2001) Yleispiirteinen biotooppiluokitus (General biotope classification). Metsähallituksen luonnonsuojelujulkaisuja B 57. MetsähallitusGoogle Scholar
  61. Tyler G (1992) Inability to solubilize phosphate in limestone soils—key factor controlling calcifuge habit of plants. Plant Soil 145:65–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Tyler G (1994) A new approach to understand the calcifuge habit of plants. Ann Bot 73:327–330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Tyler G (1996) Mineral nutrient limitations of calcifuge plants in phosphate sufficient limestone soils. Ann Bot 77:649–656CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Tyler G, Ström L (1995) Differing organic acid exudation pattern explains calcifuge and acidifuge behaviour of plants. Ann Bot 75:75–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Walker WJ, Cronan CS, Bloom PR (1990) Aluminium solubility in organic forest soil horizons from Northern and Southern forested watersheds. Soil Sci Soc Am J 54:369–374CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Wiens JA (1989) Spatial scaling in ecology. Funct Ecol 3:385–397CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paavo Närhi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maarit Middleton
    • 1
  • Nils Gustavsson
    • 2
  • Eija Hyvönen
    • 1
  • Marja-Liisa Sutinen
    • 3
  • Raimo Sutinen
    • 1
  1. 1.Geological Survey of FinlandRovaniemiFinland
  2. 2.Geological Survey of FinlandEspooFinland
  3. 3.Finnish Forest Research InstituteRovaniemiFinland

Personalised recommendations