Advertisement

Ecosystems

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 240–260 | Cite as

Production of Total Potentially Soluble Organic C, N, and P Across an Ecosystem Chronosequence: Root versus Leaf Litter

  • Shauna M. UselmanEmail author
  • Robert G. Qualls
  • Juliane Lilienfein
Article

Abstract

Dissolved organic matter (DOM) plays several important roles in forest ecosystem development, undergoing chemical, physical and/or biological reactions that affect ecosystem nutrient retention. Very few studies have focused on gross rates of DOM production, and we know of no study that has directly measured DOM production from root litter. Our objectives were to quantify major sources of total potentially water-soluble organic matter (DOMtps) production, with an emphasis on production from root litter, to quantify and compare total potentially soluble organic C, N, and P (DOCtps, DONtps, and DOPtps) production, and to quantify changes in their production during forest primary succession and ecosystem development at the Mt. Shasta Mudflows ecosystem chronosequence. To do so, we exhaustively extracted freshly senesced root and leaf and other aboveground litter for DOCtps, DONtps, and DOPtps by vegetation category, and we calculated DOMtps production (g m−2 y−1) at the ecosystem level using data for annual production of fine root and aboveground litter. DOM production from throughfall was calculated by measuring throughfall volume and concentration over 2 years. Results showed that DOMtps production from root litter was a very important source of DOMtps in the Mount Shasta mudflow ecosystems, in some cases comparable to production from leaf litter for DONtps and larger than production from leaf litter for DOPtps. Total DOCtps and DONtps production from all sources increased early in succession from the 77- to the 255-year-old ecosystem. However, total DOPtps production across the ecosystem chronosequence showed a unique pattern. Generally, the relative importance of root litter for total fine detrital DOCtps and DONtps production increased significantly during ecosystem development. Furthermore, DOCtps and DONtps production were predominantly driven by changes in biomass production during ecosystem development, whereas changes in litter solubility due to changes in species composition had a smaller effect. We suggest that DOMtps production from root litter may be an important source of organic matter for the accumulation of SOM during forest ecosystem development.

Key words

belowground production dissolved organic carbon (DOC) dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) dissolved organic phosphorus (DOP) fine root litter temperate forest primary succession 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Peter Van Susteren and the U.S.F.S. McCloud Ranger Station, without whose support this project would not have been possible. Thanks to Cheyenne Menkee for laboratory and Ben Rowe for field assistance. Research was funded by a National Science Foundation Ecosystem Studies Grant (DEB 9974062), Graduate Student Association of the University of Nevada-Reno Merit Research Grant, and in part by the Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station. Additional support provided by Soil Science Society of America, Nevada, Pacific Region, and National Garden Clubs, Nevada Women’s Fund, and USA Funds to S.M.U.

Supplementary material

10021_2008_9220_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (43 kb)
MOESM1 (PDF 43 kb)

References

  1. Aitkenhead-Peterson JA, McDowell WH, Neff JC. 2003. Sources, production, and regulation of allochthonous dissolved organic matter to surface waters. Findlay SEG, Sinsabaugh RL, editors. Aquatic ecosystems: Interactivity of dissolved organic matter. San Diego: Academic Press. p25–70.Google Scholar
  2. Binkley D. 1995. The influence of tree species on forest soils—processes and patterns. In: Mead DJ, Cornforth IS, Eds. Proceedings of the Trees and Soil Workshop. Agronomy Society of New Zealand Species Publication #10. Canterbury: Lincoln University Press. p 1–33Google Scholar
  3. Cleveland CC, Nemergut DR, Schmidt SK, Townsend AR. 2006. Increases in soil respiration following labile carbon additions linked to rapid shifts in soil microbial community composition. Biogeochemistry 82: 229–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cox L, Verlarde P, Cabrera A, Hermosín MC, Cornejo J. 2007. Dissolved organic carbon interactions with sorption and leaching of diuron in organic-amended soils. European Journal of Soil Science 58: 714–721.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Currie WS, Aber JD. 1997. Modeling leaching as a decomposition process in humid montane forests. Ecology 78: 1844–1860.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dickson BA, Crocker RL. 1953a. A chronosequence of soils and vegetation near Mt. Shasta, California: I. Definition of the ecosystem investigated and features of the plant succession. J Soil Sci 4:123–41Google Scholar
  7. Dickson BA, Crocker RL. 1953b. A chronosequence of soils and vegetation near Mt. Shasta, California: II. The development of the forest floor and the carbon and nitrogen profiles of the soils. J Soil Sci 4:142–56Google Scholar
  8. Dickson BA, Crocker RL. 1954. A chronosequence of soils and vegetation near Mt. Shasta, California: III. Some properties of the mineral soils. Journal of Soil Science 5: 173–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fröberg M, Berggren Kleja D, Hagedorn F. 2007. The contribution of fresh litter to dissolved organic carbon leached from a coniferous forest floor. European Journal of Soil Science 58: 108–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gordon WS, Jackson RB. 2000. Nutrient concentrations in fine roots. Ecology 81: 275–280.Google Scholar
  11. Gower ST, Pongracic S, Landsberg JJ. 1996. A global trend in belowground carbon allocation: can we use the relationship at smaller scales? Ecology 77: 1750–1755.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hagedorn F, Saurer M, Blaser P. 2004. A 13C tracer study to identify the origin of dissolved organic carbon in forested mineral soils. European Journal of Soil Science 55: 91–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hedin LO, Armesto JJ, Johnson AH. 1995. Patterns of nutrient loss from unpolluted, old-growth temperate forests: an evaluation of a biogeochemical theory. Ecology 76: 493–509.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jones DL, Hodge A, Kuzyakov Y. 2004. Tansley review: plant and mycorrhizal regulation of rhizodeposition. New Phytologist 163: 459–480.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kalbitz K, Solinger S, Park J-H, Michalzik B, Matzner E. 2000. Controls on the dynamics of dissolved organic matter in soils: a review. Soil Science 165: 277–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Koroleff F. 1983. Simultaneous oxidation of nitrogen and phosphorus compounds by persulfate. Grasshoff K, Eberhardt M, Kremling K, editors. Methods of seawater analysis, 2nd edn. Weinheimer: Verlag Chemie. p168–169.Google Scholar
  17. Lachat. 1997. Quik-chem methods manual. Madison: Zelweiger Analytics.Google Scholar
  18. Lajtha K, Crow SE, Yano Y, Kaushal SS, Sulzman E, Sollins P, Spears JDH. 2005. Detrital controls on soil solution N and dissolved organic matter in soils: a field experiment. Biogeochemistry 76: 261–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Law BE, Thornton PE, Irvine J, Anthoni PM, Van Tuyl S. 2001. Carbon storage and fluxes in ponderosa pine forests at different development stages. Global Change Biology 7: 755–777.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lilienfein J, Qualls RG, Uselman SM, Bridgham SD. 2003. Soil formation and organic matter accretion in a young andesitic chronosequence at Mt. Shasta, California. Geoderma 116: 249–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lilienfein J, Qualls RG, Uselman SM, Bridgham SD. 2004a. Adsorption of dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen in soils of a weathering chronosequence. Soil Sci Soc Am J 68:292–305Google Scholar
  22. Lilienfein J, Qualls RG, Uselman SM, Bridgham SD. 2004b. Adsorption of dissolved organic and inorganic phosphorus in soils of a weathering chronosequence. Soil Sci Soc Am J 68:620–8Google Scholar
  23. McDowell WH. 2003. Dissolved organic matter in soils – future directions and unanswered questions. Geoderma 113: 179–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. McDowell WH, Fisher SG. 1976. Autumnal processing of dissolved organic matter in a small woodland stream ecosystem. Ecology 57: 561–569.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. McDowell WH, Likens GE. 1988. Origin, composition, and flux of dissolved organic carbon in the Hubbard Brook Valley. Ecological Monographs 58: 177–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. McDowell WH, Zsolnay A, Aitkenhead-Peterson JA, Gregorich EG, Jones DL, Jödemann D, Kalbitz K, Marschner B, Schwesig D. 2006. A comparison of methods to determine the biodegradable dissolved organic carbon from different terrestrial sources. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 38: 1933–1942.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Michalzik B, Kalbitz K, Park J-H, Solinger S, Matzner E. 2001. Fluxes and concentrations of dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen–a synthesis for temperate forests. Biogeochemistry 52: 173–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Molina JAE, Clapp CE, Larson WE. 1980. Potentially mineralizable nitrogen in soil: the simple exponential model does not apply to the first 12 weeks of incubation. Soil Science Society of America Journal 44: 442–443.Google Scholar
  29. Nadelhoffer KJ, Raich JW. 1992. Fine root production estimates and belowground carbon allocation in forest ecosystems. Ecology 73: 1139–1147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Nambiar EK. 1987. Do nutrients retranslocate from fine roots? Canadian Journal of Forest Research 17: 913–918.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Nykvist N. 1963. Leaching and decomposition of water soluble organic substances from different types of leaf and needle litter. Studis Forestalia Suecica 3: 1–29.Google Scholar
  32. Perakis SS, Hedin LO. 2002. Nitrogen loss from unpolluted South American forests mainly via dissolved organic compounds. Nature 415: 416–419.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pohlman AA, McColl JG. 1988. Soluble organics from forest litter and their role in metal dissolution. Soil Science Society of America Journal 52: 265–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Qualls RG. 2000. Comparison of the behavior of soluble organic and inorganic nutrients in forest soils. Forest Ecology and Management 138: 29–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Qualls RG, Bridgham SD. 2005. Mineralization rate of 14C-labelled dissolved organic matter from leaf litter in soils of a weathering chronosequence. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 37: 905–916.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Qualls RG, Haines BL, Swank WT. 1991. Fluxes of dissolved organic nutrients and humic substances in a deciduous forest ecosystem. Ecology 72: 254–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Qualls RG, Haines BL, Swank WT, Tyler SW. 2002. Retention of soluble organic nutrients by a forested ecosystem. Biogeochemistry 61: 135–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Schlesinger WH. 1991. Biogeochemistry: an analysis of global change. San Diego (CA): Academic Press, Inc. 443 pGoogle Scholar
  39. Smith WH. 1976. Character and significance of forest tree root exudates. Ecology 57: 324–331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sollins P, McCorison FM. 1981. Nitrogen and carbon solution chemistry of an old-growth coniferous forest watershed before and after cutting. Water Resources Research 17: 1409–1418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Sollins P, Spycher G, Topik C. 1983. Processes of soil organic matter accretion at a mudflow chronosequence, Mt. Shasta, California. Ecology 64: 1273–1282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Uselman SM, Qualls RG, Thomas RB. 2000. Effects of increased atmospheric CO2, temperature, and soil N availability on root exudation of dissolved organic carbon by a N-fixing tree (Robinia pseudoacacia L.). Plant and Soil 222: 191–202 .CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Uselman SM, Qualls RG, Lilienfein J. 2007a. Fine root production across a primary successional ecosystem chronosequence at Mt. Shasta, California. Ecosystems 10:703–17Google Scholar
  44. Uselman SM, Qualls RG, Lilienfein J. 2007b. Contribution of root vs. leaf litter to dissolved organic carbon leaching through soil. Soil Sci Soc Am J 71:1555–63Google Scholar
  45. Van Breemen N. 2002. Natural organic tendency. Nature 415: 381–382.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Vogt KA, Vogt DJ, Palmiotto PA, Boon P, O’Hara J, Asbjornsen H. 1996. Review of root dynamics in forest ecosystems grouped by climate, climatic forest type and species. Plant and Soil 187: 159–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Wetzel RT, Likens GE. 1991. Limnological methods, 2nd edn. New York (NY): Springer Verlag. 391 pGoogle Scholar
  48. Yano Y, Lajtha K, Sollins P, Caldwell BA. 2005. Chemistry and dynamics of dissolved organic matter in a temperate coniferous forest on andic soils: effects of litter quality. Ecosystems 8: 286–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Zar JH. 1996. Biostatistical analysis, 3rd edn. Upper Saddle River (NJ): Prentice-Hall, Inc. 662 pGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shauna M. Uselman
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Robert G. Qualls
    • 3
  • Juliane Lilienfein
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology Program, Natural Resources and Environmental Science Department, MS 370University of Nevada-RenoRenoUSA
  2. 2.USDA-ARS, Exotic and Invasive Weeds Research UnitRenoUSA
  3. 3.Natural Resources and Environmental Science Department, MS 370University of Nevada-RenoRenoUSA
  4. 4.Synergy Resource Solutions, Inc.BelgradeUSA

Personalised recommendations