The influence of spruce on acidity and nutrient content in soils of Northern Taiga dwarf shrub–green moss spruce forests


Presently, among the works considering the influence of forest trees on soil properties, the idea that spruce (Picea abies) promotes the acidification of soils predominates. The aim of this work is to assess the effects of spruce trees of different ages and Kraft classes on the acidity and content of available nutrient compounds in the soils under boreal dwarf shrub–green moss spruce forests by the example of forest soils in the Kola Peninsula. The soils are typical iron-illuvial podzols (Albic Rustic Podzols (Arenic)). Three probable ways of developing soils under spruce forests with the moss–dwarf shrub ground cover are considered. The soils under windfall–soil complexes of flat mesodepressions present the initial status. The acidity of organic soil horizons from the initial stage of mesodepression overgrowth to the formation of adult trees changed nonlinearly: the soil acidity reached its maximum under the 30–40-year-old trees and decreased under the trees older than 100 years. The contents of nitrogen and available nutrients increased. The acidity of the mineral soil horizons under the trees at the ages of 110–135 and 190–220 years was comparable, but higher than that under the 30–40-year-old trees. The differences in the strength and trends of the trees’ effect on the soils are explained by the age of spruce trees and their belonging to different Kraft classes.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. 1.

    E. V. Arinushkina, Handbook on the Chemical Analysis of Soils (Moscow State Univ., Moscow, 1970) [in Russian].

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    N. A. Artemkina, A Report “Influence of the Quality of Litter on Decomposition of Organic Matter in Forests at Their Northern Limit (Institute of Industrial Ecology of the North, Kola Scientific Center, Russian Academy of Sciences, Apatity, 2012) [in Russian].

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    M. V. Vaichis, “Influence of European larch on soddypodzolic soils,” Pochvovedenie, No. 5, 12–22 (1958).

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    S. V. Zonn, “Interaction of forest vegetation with soil,” Pochvovedenie, No. 4, 51–60 (1954).

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    L. O. Karpachevskii, Forest Soils (Lesnaya Promyshlennost’, Moscow, 1981) [in Russian].

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    L. O. Karpachevskii, Diversity of Soil Covers in Forest Biogeocenosis (Moscow State Univ., Moscow, 1977) [in Russian].

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    N. V. Lukina, T. T. Gorbacheva, V. V. Nikonov, and M. A. Lukina, “Spatial variability of soil acidity in Al- Fe-humus podzols of northern taiga,” Eurasian Soil Sci. 35 (2), 144–155 (2002).

    Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    N. V. Lukina and V. V. Nikonov, Biogeochemical Cycles in Northern Forests Affected by Aerotechnogenic Pollution (Kola Scientific Center, Russian Academy of Sciences, Apatity, 1996) [in Russian].

    Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    N. V. Lukina, M. A. Orlova, and L. G. Isaeva, “Forest soil fertility: the base of relationships between soil and vegetation,” Contemp. Probl. Ecol. 4 (7), 725–733 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    N. V. Lukina, L. M. Polyanskaya, and M. A. Orlova, Nutritional Regime of Soil in Northern Taiga Forests (Nauka, Moscow, 2008) [in Russian].

    Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    N. V. Lukina, T. A. Sukhareva, and L. G. Isaeva, Technogenic Degradation and Recovery Successions in Northern Taiga Forests (Nauka, Moscow, 2005) [in Russian].

    Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    K. N. Manakov and V. V. Nikonov, Biological Cycle of Mineral Elements and Soil Formation in Spruce Forests of the Extreme North (Nauka, Leningrad, 1981) [in Russian].

    Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    I. S. Melekhov, Forestry: Textbook for the Institutes of Higher Education (Lesnaya Promyshlennost’, Moscow, 1980) [in Russian].

    Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    B. V. Nadezhdin, “The influence of forest plantations on chernozems,” Sb. Tr. Tsentr. Muz. Pochvoved., No. 1, 264–290 (1954).

    Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    V. V. Nikonov and N. V. Lukina, Biogeochemical Functions of Forests at the Northern Edge of Their Distribution (Kola Scientific Center, Russian Academy of Sciences, Apatity, 1994) [in Russian].

    Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    M. A. Orlova, “Elementary unit of forest biogeocenological cover for assessment of ecosystem functions of forests,” Tr. Karel. Nauch. Tsentra, Ekol. Issled., No. 6, 126–132 (2013).

    Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    M. A. Orlova, N. V. Lukina, and V. V. Nikonov, “Influence of spruce on spatial variability of acidity in podzols of the northern taiga,” Lesovedenie, No. 6, 3–11 (2003).

    Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    V. V. Ponomareva and N. S. Sotnikov, “Regularities of migration and accumulation of elements in podzolic soils: a lysimetric analysis,” in Biogeochemical Processes in Podzolic Soils (Nauka, Leningrad, 1972), pp. 6–56.

    Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    N. P. Remezov, “Role of forest in soil formation,” Pochvovedenie, No. 4, 70–79 (1956).

    Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    N. P. Remezov, “On the role of forest in soil formation,” Pochvovedenie, No. 12, 74–83 (1953).

    Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    A. A. Rode, “On the problem of the role of forests in soil formation,” Pochvovedenie, No. 5, 50–62 (1954).

    Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    V. G. Storozhenko, “Dating of decomposition of spruce brushwood,” Ekologiya, No. 6, 66–69 (1990).

    Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    P. A. Tarasov and A. V. Tarasova, “Comparison of the influence of light coniferous trees on the properties of soddy-calcareous soil,” Khvoinye Borel’noi Zony 27 (3–4), 284–288 (2010).

    Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    M. E. Tkachenko, “Influence of some tree species on soil,” Pochvovedenie, No. 10, 3–17 (1939).

    Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    L. L. Shishov, V. D. Tonkonogov, I. I. Lebedeva, and M. I. Gerasimova, Classification and Diagnostic System of Russian Soils (Oikumena, Smolensk, 2004) [in Russian].

    Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    D. H. Alban, “Effects of nutrient accumulation by aspen, spruce, and pine on soil properties,” Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 46, 853–861 (1982).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    N. M. Amiotti, P. Zalba, L. F. Sanchez, and N. Peinemann, “The impact of single trees on properties of loess-derived grassland soils in Argentina,” Ecology 81, 3283–3290 (2000).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    L. Augusto, J. Ranger, D. Binkley, and A. Rothe, “Impact of several common tree species of European temperate forests on soil fertility,” Ann. For. Sci. 59, 233–253 (2002).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    B. Berkvist and L. Folkeson, “The influence of tree species on acid deposition, proton budgets and element fluxes in south Sweden forest ecosystems,” Ecol. Bull. 44, 90–99 (1995).

    Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    D. Binkley, “The influence of tree species on forest soils—processes and patterns,” Proceedings of the Trees and Soil Workshop, Agron. Soc. N. Z. Spec. Publ. No. m10, Ed. by D. J. Mead and I. S. Cornforth (Lincoln University Press, Canterbury, 1995), pp. 1–33.

    Google Scholar 

  31. 31.

    D. Binkley and Ch. Giardina, “Why do trees affect soils? The warp and woof of tree-soil interactions,” Biogeochemistry 42, 89–106 (1998).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. 32.

    D. Binkley and O. Menyailo, “Gaining insights on the effects of tree species on soils,” in Tree Species Effects on Soils: Implications for Global Change, NATO Sci. Ser., Ed. by D. Binkley and O. Menyailo (Kluwer, Dordrecht, 2005).

    Google Scholar 

  33. 33.

    D. Binkley, P. Sollins, R. Bell, D. Sachs, and D. Myrold, “Biogeochemistry of adjacent conifer and alder/conifer ecosystems,” Ecology 73, 2022–2034 (1992).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. 34.

    D. Binkley and D. Valentine, “Fifty-year biogeochemical effects of green ash, white pine, and Norway spruce in a replicated experiment,” For. Ecol. Manage., No. 40, 13–25 (1991).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. 35.

    J. G. Bockheim, “Soils in a hemlock-hardwood ecosystem mosaic in the Southern Lake Superior Upland,” Can. J. For. Res. 27, 1147–1153 (1997).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. 36.

    D. Challinor, “Alternation of surface soil characteristics by four tree species,” Ecology 49, 268–290 (1968).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. 37.

    A. C. Finzi, C. D. Canham, and N. van Breemen, “Canopy tree soil interactions within temperate forests: species effects on pH and cations,” Ecol. Appl., No. 8, 447–454 (1998).

    Google Scholar 

  38. 38.

    A. C. Finzi, N. van Breemen, and C. D. Canham, “Canopy tree soil interactions within temperate forests: species effects on soil carbon and nitrogen,” Ecol. Appl., No. 8, 440–446 (1998).

    Google Scholar 

  39. 39.

    O. Halonen, H. Tulkki, and J. Derome, “Nutrient analysis methods,” Metsantutkimuslaitoksen Tied. 121, 1–28 (1983).

    Google Scholar 

  40. 40.

    K. Hansson, PhD Thesis (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, 2011).

    Google Scholar 

  41. 41.

    S. E. Hobbie, “Effects of plant species on nutrient cycling,” Trends Ecol. Evol. 7, 336–339 (1992).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. 42.

    A. Legout, K. Hansson, G. van der Heijden, J.-P. Laclau, L. Augusto, and J. Ranger, “Chemical fertility of forest soils: basic concepts,” AgroParis-Tech, 2014.

    Google Scholar 

  43. 43.

    L. Mareschal, P. Bonnaud, M. P. Turpault, and J. Ranger, “Impact of common European tree species on the chemical and physicochemical properties of fine earth: an unusual pattern,” Eur. J. Soil. Sci. 61 (1), 14–23 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. 44.

    E. O. McLean, D. C. Reicopky, and C. Lashmann, “Al in soil: interrelationships of organic matter, liming, and extractable Al with “Permanent charge” (KCl) and pH-dependent cation exchange capacity of surface soil,” Soil. Sci. Soc. Am. Proc. 29, 374–378 (1965).

    Google Scholar 

  45. 45.

    Methods for Integrated Monitoring in the Nordic Countries (Nordic Council of Ministers, Nord, 1989), Vol. 68.

  46. 46.

    K. E. Mueller, D. M. Eissenstat, S. E. Hobbie, J. Oleksyn, A. M. Jagodzinski, P. B. Reich, O. A. Chawick, and J. Chorover, “Tree species effects on coupled cycles of carbon, nitrogen and acidity in mineral soils at a common garden experiment,” Biogeochemistry, (2015).

    Google Scholar 

  47. 47.

    A. Munson, “Dynamics of soil carbon, nitrogen, and microbial biomass during 20 years of succession towards deciduous or confer canopy in sub boreal plantations,” 4th International Congress Eurosoil “Soil Science for the Benefit of Mankind and Environment,” Bari, Italy, July 2–6, 2012.

    Google Scholar 

  48. 48.

    M. Orlova, N. Lukina, O. Tutubalina, V. Smirnov, G. Isaeva, and F. Hofgaard, “Soil nutrient’s spatial variability in forest–tundra ecotones on the Kola Peninsula, Russia,” Biogeochemistry 113, 283–305 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. 49.

    D. Pare, “Influence of tree species on soil in the boreal forest: beyond the direct litter effect,” 4th International Congress Eurosoil “Soil Science for the Benefit of Mankind and Environment,” Bari, Italy, July 2–6, 2012.

    Google Scholar 

  50. 50.

    P. F. Pratt and F. L. Blair, “A comparison of the reagents for extraction of aluminium from soils,” Soil Sci. 91, 3–17 (1961).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. 51.

    A. E. Russell, J. W. Raich, R. F. Fisher, and O. J. Valverde-Barrantes, “Tree species effects on soil properties in experimental plantations in tropical moist forest,” Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 71 (4), (2007).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  52. 52.

    G. M. Shear and W. D. Stewart, “Moisture and pH studies of the soil under forest trees,” Ecology 15, 134–153 (1934).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. 53.

    StatSoft, STATISTICA: Data Analysis Software System, Version 9.1, 2010.

  54. 54.

    N. van Breemen and A. C. Finzi, “Plant-soil interactions: ecological aspects and evolutionary implications,” Biogeochemistry 42, 1–19 (1998).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. 55.

    F. Vodde, PhD Thesis in Forestry (Tartu, 2013).

    Google Scholar 

  56. 56.

    P. J. Zinke, “The pattern of influence of individual forest trees on soil properties,” Ecology 43, 130–133 (1962).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to N. V. Lukina.

Additional information

Original Russian Text © M.A. Orlova, N.V. Lukina, V.E. Smirnov, N.A. Artemkina, 2016, published in Pochvovedenie, 2016, No. 11, pp. 1355–1367.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Orlova, M.A., Lukina, N.V., Smirnov, V.E. et al. The influence of spruce on acidity and nutrient content in soils of Northern Taiga dwarf shrub–green moss spruce forests. Eurasian Soil Sc. 49, 1276–1287 (2016).

Download citation


  • boreal forests
  • age of spruce
  • podzols (Albic Rustic Podzols)
  • acidity
  • soil fertility