Coarse woody debris modifies surface soils of degraded temperate eucalypt woodlands
- 367 Downloads
Reintroductions of coarse woody debris (CWD) to Australia’s temperate eucalypt woodlands have been proposed to address the paucity of CWD in these landscapes. This study aimed to quantify the effects of CWD on surface soils.
Values of C, N, C:N, P, NO3 −, NH4 +, pH and electrical conductivity (EC) were measured adjacent to, and at reference distances from CWD. Soils were measured at depths of 0–1 cm, 1–3 cm and 3–5 cm for 12 individual CWD samples of varying decay classes and diameters. A linear mixed model was used to test the effects of the presence of CWD, soil depth and CWD decay class and diameter.
Significantly larger values for C, N, C:N, P, NO3 −, EC, and significantly smaller values for pH were found adjacent to CWD. The greatest impact of CWD was on the upper most surface soil. CWD decay class and diameter had little influence on the measured soil characteristics.
This is the first quantitative determination of the effects of eucalypt CWD on woodland soils in Australia. The effect of added CWD is rapid, occurring after just 2 years. The results suggest that the effects are due to the structural properties of CWD.
KeywordsAustralian temperate woodlands Woodland restoration Soil nutrients
Thanks to the following people: Dr Ben Macdonald for manuscript review, Ross Cunningham for statistical support, David Tongway who advised on soil sampling methods, Dr Matthew Brookhouse for field assistance, Dr Adrian Manning for site access, Professor Stephen Dovers for additional financial support, Tom Nicholson for sampling equipment, Lorna Fitzsimons and Dr Vanessa Wong who assisted in laboratory analysis.
- Australian Bureau of Meteorology (2010) Climate statistics for Australian locations: Canberra airport comparison. Australian Bureau of Meteorology. http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_070014.shtml. Accessed 15 September 2010
- Best JG, D’Addario GW, Walpole BP, Rose G (1978) Canberra NSW and Australian Capital Territory 1:250 000 Geological Series Sheet SI 55–16. Bureau of Mineral Resources and Geological Survey of New South WalesGoogle Scholar
- Boyd L, Mac Nally R, Read J (2005) Does fallen timber on floodplains influence distributions of nutrients, plants and seeds? Plant Ecol 177:165–176Google Scholar
- Cookson LJ (2004) The in-ground natural durability of Australian timbers. Forest and Wood Products Research and Development Corporation, VictoriaGoogle Scholar
- Donald CM (1973) The pastures of southern Australia. In: Leeper GW (ed) The Australian environment. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization and Melbourne University Press, Victoria, pp 68–82Google Scholar
- Eaton AD, Clesceri LS, Rice EW, Greenberg AE (eds) (2005) Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater. American Public Health Association, American Water Works Association, Water Environment Federation, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
- Ganjegunte GK, Condron LM, Clinton PW, Davis MR, Mahieu N (2004) Decomposition and nutrient release from radiata pine (Pinus radiata) coarse woody debris. For Ecol Manag 187:197–211Google Scholar
- Graham RL, Cromack K Jr (1982) Mass, nutrient content, and decay rate of dead boles in rain forests of Olympic National Park. Can J For Res 12:511–521Google Scholar
- Hafner SD, Groffman PM, Mitchell MJ (2005) Leaching of dissolved organic carbon, dissolved organic nitrogen, and other solutes from coarse woody debris and litter in a mixed forest in New York State. Biochemistry 74:257–282Google Scholar
- Hillis WE (ed) (1962) Wood extractives and their significance to the pulp and paper industries. Academic Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Hutchinson MF, McIntyre S, Hobbs RJ, Stein JL, Garnett S, Kinloch J (2005) Integrating a global agro-climatic classification with bioregional boundaries in Australia. Glob Chang Biol 14:197–212Google Scholar
- IUSS Working Group WRB (2006) World reference base for soil resources 2006. World Soil Resources Reports No. 103. Food and Agriculture Organization, RomeGoogle Scholar
- Jenkins BR (2000) Soil landscapes of the Canberra 1:100,000 sheet. Department of Land and Water Conservation, QueanbeyanGoogle Scholar
- Maser C, Anderson RG, Cromack K Jr, Williams JT, Martin RE (1979) Dead and down woody material. In: Thomas JW (ed) Wildlife habitats in managed forests the Blue Mountains of Oregon and Washington. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, pp 78–95Google Scholar
- McIntyre S, Stol J, Harvey J, Nicholls AO, Campbell M, Reid A, Manning AD, Lindenmayer D (2010) Biomass and floristic patterns in the ground layer vegetation of box-gum grassy eucalypt woodland in Goorooyarroo and Mulligans Flat Nature Reserves, Australian Capital Territory. Cunninghamia 11:319–357Google Scholar
- Moore RM (1966) Man as a factor in the dynamics of plant communities. Proc Ecol Soc Aust 1:106–110Google Scholar
- Orndorff KA, Lang GE (1981) Leaf litter redistribution in a West Virginia hardwood forest. J Ecol 69:225–235Google Scholar
- Quinn GP, Keough MJ (2010) Experimental design and data analysis for biologists. Cambridge University Press, MelbourneGoogle Scholar
- Rayment GE, Higginson FR (1992) Australian laboratory handbook of soil and water chemical methods. Inkata Press, MelbourneGoogle Scholar