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

Abstract

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.

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Correspondence to N. V. Lukina.

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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.

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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). https://doi.org/10.1134/S1064229316110077

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Keywords

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