Advertisement

Plant and Soil

, Volume 370, Issue 1–2, pp 625–639 | Cite as

Causes of variation in mineral soil C content and turnover in differently managed beech dominated forests

  • Ingo Schöning
  • Erik Grüneberg
  • Carlos A. Sierra
  • Dominik Hessenmöller
  • Marion Schrumpf
  • Wolfgang W. Weisser
  • Ernst-Detlef Schulze
Regular Article

Abstract

Background and aims

Forest soils are important carbon stores and considered as net CO2 sinks over decadal to centennial time scales. Intensive forest management is thought to reduce the carbon sequestration potential of forest soils. Here we study the effects of decades of forest management (as unmanaged forest, forest under selection cutting, forest under age class management) on the turnover of mineral associated soil organic matter (MOM) in German beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) dominated forests.

Methods

Radiocarbon contents were determined by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) in 79 Ah horizon MOM fractions of Cambisols (n = 13), Luvisols (n = 51) and Stagnosols (n = 15). Mean residence times (MRTs) for soil organic carbon (SOC) were estimated with a 2-pool model using the litter input derived from a forest inventory.

Results

MOM fractions from Ah horizons contained 64 ± 8.8 % of the bulk SOC. The radiocarbon content of MOM fractions in Ah horizons, expressed as Δ14C, ranged between −2.8 ‰ and 114 ‰ for the three soil groups. Almost all samples contained a detectable proportion of ‘bomb’ carbon fixed from the atmosphere since 1963. Under the assumption that depending on the soil texture between 19 % and 24 % of the SOC from the labile pool is transferred to the stable SOC pool, the corresponding MRTs ranged between 72 and 723 years, with a median of 164 years.

Conclusions

Our results indicate that the MOM fraction of Ah horizons from beech forests contained a high proportion of young carbon, but we did not find a significant decadal effect of forest management on the radiocarbon signature and related turnover times. Instead, both variables were controlled by clay contents and associated SOC concentrations (p < 0.01). This underlines the importance of pedogenic properties for SOC turnover in the MOM fraction.

Keywords

Forest management Carbon sequestration Radiocarbon (14C) dating Density fractionation Soil organic matter stabilization Mineral associated organic matter 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Susan E. Trumbore and the reviewers for their helpful comments on a earlier version of the manuscript. We also thank Kathrin Henkel and Knut Mehler for help with the soil sampling and Claudia Seilwinder for help with the forest inventories. Iris Kuhlmann, Sarah Walter and Nils Reinhardt are acknowledged for the help with the physical fractionation of soil samples, Ines Hilke and Birgit Fröhlich for the CN analysis and Axel Steinhof for the radiocarbon analysis. We are grateful to Sonja Gockel and Simone Pfeiffer for their work in maintaining the plot and project infrastructure in the Hainich. The work has been funded by the DFG Priority Program 1374 “Infrastructure-Biodiversity-Exploratories” and the Max-Planck-Society. Markus Fischer, Elisabeth Kalko, Eduard Linsenmair, Jens Nieschulze, Daniel Prati, François Buscot are acknowledged for their contribution in setting up the Biodiversity Exploratories project. Field work permits were issued by the responsible state environmental offices of Thüringen (according to § 72 BbgNatSchG).

References

  1. Baisden WT, Amundson R, Cook AC, Brenner DL (2002) Turnover and storage of C and N in five density fractions from California annual grassland surface soils—art. no. 1117. Global Biogeochem Cycles 16:1117–1117Google Scholar
  2. Castanha C, Trumbore S, Amundson R (2008) Methods of separating soil carbon pools affect the chemistry and turnover time of isolated fractions. Radiocarbon 50:83–97Google Scholar
  3. Cater M, Ogrinc N (2011) Soil respiration rates and [image omitted] in natural beech forest (Fagus sylvatica L.) in relation to stand structure. Isot Environ Healt S 47:221–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Christensen BT (2001) Physical fractionation of soil and structural and functional complexity in organic matter turnover. Eur J Soil Sci 52:345–353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Claus A, George E (2005) Effect of stand age on fine-root biomass and biomass distribution in three European forest chronosequences. Can J For Res-Rev Can Rech For 35:1617–1625CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Coleman K, Jenkinson DS (2008) RothC 26.3: A model for the turnover of carbon in soil. Model description and windows user guide. Rothamsted Research, Herpender Herts, UK. Available at http://www.rothamsted.bbsrc.ac.uk/aen/carbon/mod26_3_win.pdf. Accessed 26 Feb 2013
  7. Crow SE, Swanston CW, Lajtha K, Brooks JR, Keirstead H (2007) Density fractionation of forest soils: methodological questions and interpretation of incubation results and turnover time in an ecosystem context. Biogeochemistry 85:69–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dijkstra JPM, Reinds GJ, Kros H, Berg B, de Vries W (2009) Modelling soil carbon sequestration of intensively monitored forest plots in Europe by three different approaches. For Ecol Manage 258:1780–1793CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Don A, Scholten T, Schulze ED (2009) Conversion of cropland into grassland: implications for soil organic-carbon stocks in two soils with different texture. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci 172:53–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. FAO (2006) Guidelines for profile description, 4th edn. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  11. Fischer M, Bossdorf O, Gockel S, Hansel F, Hemp A, Hessenmöller D, Korte G, Nieschulze J, Pfeiffer S, Prati D, Renner S, Schöning I, Schumacher U, Wells K, Buscot F, Kalko EKV, Linsenmair KE, Schulze ED, Weisser WW (2010) Implementing large-scale and long-term functional biodiversity research: The Biodiversity Exploratories. Basic Appl Ecol 11:473–485CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gale WJ, Cambardella CA (2000) Carbon dynamics of surface residue- and root-derived organic matter under simulated no-till. Soil Sci Soc Am J 64:190–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gaudinski JB, Trumbore SE, Davidson EA, Zheng S (2000) Soil carbon cycling in a temperate forest: radiocarbon-based estimates of residence times, sequestration rates and partitioning of fluxes. Biogeochemistry 51:33–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gömöryová E (2004) Small-scale variation of microbial activities in a forest soil under beech (Fagus Sylvatica L.) stand. Pol J Ecol 52:311–321Google Scholar
  15. Grüneberg E, Schöning I, Kalko EKV, Weisser WW (2010) Regional organic carbon stock variability: a comparison between depth increments and soil horizons. Geoderma 155:426–433CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Harrison AF, Harkness DD, Rowland AP, Garnett JS, Bacon PJ (2000) Annual carbon and nitrogen fluxes in soils along the European forest transect, determined using 14C-bomb. In: Schulze E-D (ed) Carbon and nitrogen cycling in European forest ecosystems. Ecological Studies 142. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg, pp 237–256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hedde M, Aubert M, Decaëns T, Bureau F (2008) Dynamics of soil carbon in a beechwood chronosequence forest. For Ecol Manag 255:193–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Huang Z, Davis MR, Condron LM, Clinton PW (2011) Soil carbon pools, plant biomarkers and mean carbon residence time after afforestation of grassland with three tree species. Soil Biol Biochem 43:1341–1349CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. IUSS-Working-Group-WRB (2006) World reference base for soil resources 2006, vol 103. World Soil Reports, 2nd edn. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  20. Johnson DW, Curtis PS (2001) Effects of forest management on soil C and N storage: meta analysis. For Ecol Manag 140:227–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kammer A, Hagedorn F (2011) Mineralisation, leaching and stabilisation of (13)C-labelled leaf and twig litter in a beech forest soil. Biogeosciences 8:2195–2208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Köble R, Seufert G (2001) Novel maps for forest tree species in Europe. In: Proceedings conference on a changing atmosphere, 8th European symposium on the physico-chemical behaviour of atmospheric pollutants, 17–20 September 2001, Torino.Google Scholar
  23. Kögel-Knabner I (2002) The macromolecular organic composition of plant and microbial residues as inputs to soil organic matter. Soil Biol Biochem 34:139–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kölbl A, von Lützow M, Rumpel C, Munch JC, Kögel-Knabner I (2007) Dynamics of (13)C-labeled mustard litter (Sinapis alba) in particle-size and aggregate fractions in an agricultural cropland with high- and low-yield areas. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci 170:123–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kondo M, Uchida M, Shibata Y (2010) Radiocarbon-based residence time estimates of soil organic carbon in a temperate forest: case study for the density fractionation for Japanese volcanic ash soil. Nucl Instrum Methods Phys Res Sect B-Beam Interact Mater Atoms 268:1073–1076CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kutsch WL, Persson T, Schrumpf M, Moyano FE, Mund M, Andersson S, Schulze ED (2010) Heterotrophic soil respiration and soil carbon dynamics in the deciduous Hainich forest obtained by three approaches. Biogeochemistry 100:167–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Leifeld J, Fuhrer J (2009) Long-term management effects on soil organic matter in two cold, high-elevation grasslands: clues from fractionation and radiocarbon dating. Eur J Soil Sci 60:230–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Leifeld J, Zimmermann M, Fuhrer J, Conen F (2009) Storage and turnover of carbon in grassland soils along an elevation gradient in the Swiss Alps. Glob Chang Biol 15:668–679CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Levin I, Kromer B (2004) The tropospheric (CO2)-C-14 level in mid-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere (1959–2003). Radiocarbon 46:1261–1272Google Scholar
  30. Manzoni S, Katul GG, Porporato A (2009) Analysis of soil carbon transit times and age distributions using network theories. J Geophys Res-Biogeosci 114:G04025CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Manzoni S, Taylor P, Richter A, Porporato A, Agren GI (2012) Environmental and stoichiometric controls on microbial carbon-use efficiency in soils. New Phytol 196:79–91PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Müller CW, Kögel-Knabner I (2009) Soil organic carbon stocks, distribution, and composition affected by historic land use changes on adjacent sites. Biol Fertil Soils 45:347–359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mund M (2004) Carbon pools of European beech forests (Fagus sylvatica) under different silvicultural management. Berichte des Forschungszentrums Waldökosysteme. Reihe A – Band 189. Forschungszentrum Waldökosysteme, GöttingenGoogle Scholar
  34. Nannipieri P, Ascher J, Ceccherini MT, Landi L, Pietramellara G, Renella G (2003) Microbial diversity and soil functions. Eur J Soil Sci 54:655–670CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nave LE, Vance ED, Swanston CW, Curtis PS (2010) Harvest impacts on soil carbon storage in temperate forests. For Ecol Manage 259:857–866CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Ngao J, Epron D, Delpierre N, Breda N, Granier A, Longdoz B (2012) Spatial variability of soil CO2 efflux linked to soil parameters and ecosystem characteristics in a temperate beech forest. Agr For Meteorol 154:136–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Nielsen UN, Ayres E, Wall DH, Bardgett RD (2011) Soil biodiversity and carbon cycling: a review and synthesis of studies examining diversity-function relationships. Eur J Soil Sci 62:105–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Poirier N, Derenne S, Balesdent J, Chenu C, Bardoux G, Mariotti A, Largeau C (2006) Dynamics and origin of the non-hydrolysable organic fraction in a forest and a cultivated temperate soil, as determined by isotopic and microscopic studies. Eur J Soil Sci 57:719–730CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Quideau SA, Anderson MA, Graham RC, Chadwick OA, Trumbore SE (2000) Soil organic matter processes: characterization by 13C-NMR and 14C-measurements. For Ecol Manage 138:19–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. R-Development-Core-Team (2012) R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, ViennaGoogle Scholar
  41. Schober R (1972) Die Rotbuche. Verlag J.D. Sauerländer, Frankfurt a.MGoogle Scholar
  42. Schöning I, Kögel-Knabner I (2006) Chemical composition of young and old carbon pools throughout Cambisol and Luvisol profiles under forests. Soil Biol Biochem 38:2411–2424CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Schöning I, Totsche KU, Kögel-Knabner I (2006) Small scale spatial variability of organic carbon stocks in litter and solum of a forested Luvisol. Geoderma 136:631–642CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Schulze K, Borken W, Muhr J, Matzner E (2009) Stock, turnover time and accumulation of organic matter in bulk and density fractions of a Podzol soil. Eur J Soil Sci 60:567–577CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Sierra CA, Müller M, Trumbore SE (2012) Models of soil organic matter decomposition: the SOILR package, version 1.0. Geosci Model Dev Discuss 5:993–1039CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Soetaert K, Petzoldt T (2010) Inverse modelling, sensitivity and Monte Carlo analysis in R using package FME. J Stat Softw 33:1–28Google Scholar
  47. Sollins P, Homann P, Caldwell BA (1996) Stabilization and destabilization of soil organic matter: mechanisms and controls. Geoderma 74:65–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Steffens M, Kölbl A, Kögel-Knabner I (2009) Alteration of soil organic matter pools and aggregation in semi-arid steppe topsoils as driven by organic matter input. Eur J Soil Sci 60:198–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Steinhof A, Adamiec G, Gleixner G, van Klinken GJ, Wagner T (2004) The new C-14 analysis laboratory in Jena, Germany. Radiocarbon 46:51–58Google Scholar
  50. Trumbore S (2009) Radiocarbon and soil carbon dynamics. Annu Rev Earth Planet Sci 37:47–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Trumbore SE, Davidson EA, Decamargo PB, Nepstad DC, Martinelli LA (1995) Belowground cycling of carbon in forests and pastures of Eastern Amazonia. Global Biogeochem Cycles 9:515–528CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. von Lützow M, Kögel-Knabner I, Ekschmitt K, Matzner E, Guggenberger G, Marschner B, Flessa H (2006) Stabilization of organic matter in temperate soils: mechanisms and their relevance under different soil conditions—a review. Eur J Soil Sci 57:426–445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Wäldchen J, Schulze ED, Mund M, Winkler B (2011) Der Einfluss politischer, rechtlicher und wirtschaftlicher Rahmenbedingungen des 19. Jahrhunderts auf die Bewirtschaftung der Wälder im Hainich-Dün-Gebiet (Nordthüringen). Forstarchiv 82:35–47Google Scholar
  54. Wäldchen J, Schöning I, Mund M, Schrumpf M, Bock S, Herold N, Totsche KU, Schulze ED (2012) Estimation of clay content from easily measurable water content of air-dried soil. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci 175:367–376CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Wang Y, Hsieh Y-P (2002) Uncertainties and novel prospects in the study of the soil carbon dynamics. Chemosphere 49:791–804PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Wirth C, Schulze ED, Schwalbe G, Tomczyk S, Weber G, Weller E (2004) Dynamik der Kohlenstoffvorräte in den Wäldern Thüringens. Mitteilungen 23/2004. Thüringer Landesanstalt für Wald, Jagd und Fischerei, GothaGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ingo Schöning
    • 1
    • 2
  • Erik Grüneberg
    • 2
    • 3
  • Carlos A. Sierra
    • 1
  • Dominik Hessenmöller
    • 1
  • Marion Schrumpf
    • 1
  • Wolfgang W. Weisser
    • 2
  • Ernst-Detlef Schulze
    • 1
  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for BiogeochemistryJenaGermany
  2. 2.Institute of EcologyUniversity of JenaJenaGermany
  3. 3.Institute of Experimental EcologyUniversity of UlmUlmGermany

Personalised recommendations