Advertisement

Litter fractions and dynamics in a degraded pine forest after thinning treatments

  • Alessandra LagomarsinoEmail author
  • Gianluigi Mazza
  • Alessandro Elio Agnelli
  • Romina Lorenzetti
  • Caterina Bartoli
  • Carlo Viti
  • Claudio Colombo
  • Roberta Pastorelli
Original Paper
  • 33 Downloads

Abstract

An integrated characterization of physical, chemical, biochemical and microbiological properties of litter fractions (litter, fragmented and humified), corresponding at three decomposition phases, has been conducted in a degraded pine forest. Litter fractions were characterized in terms of C and N content, microbial communities’ structure, enzyme activities and optical properties. The objective of this approach was to give an insight of actors and mechanisms operating during decomposition process, evaluating the relationships between litter pools (organic matter and microbial communities) and activities (respiration and enzymes). The effect of different thinning treatments (traditional and selective) on litter biomass and respiration was also investigated for 2 years, to identify forest management practices aiming at increase C storage and mitigate climate change. The litter fractions showed well-distinct chemical composition, with a decrease in carbon and an increase in nitrogen as decomposition advanced. Parallelly, an increase in fungal richness and diversity, and related enzyme activities, was observed. Bacteria were similar in the three fractions but seemed to have a role in the early phase of cellulose and hemicellulose decomposition. Thinning induced a short-term increase in litter input to soil, which disappeared after the first year until determining a general decrease in litter biomass, stronger with selective thinning. Further, in the warmer months of the second year after thinning litter respiration showed an increasing trend. Overall, positive effects of thinning on C storage were evident in the short term, followed by a decrease in litter pool driven by higher litter respiration.

Keywords

Pine forest management Litter decomposition CO2 emissions Enzymes Microbial diversity 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The work was financially supported by the LIFE program, in the context of FoResMit project (LIFE14/CCM/IT/905) “Recovery of degraded coniferous Forests for environmental sustainability Restoration and climate change Mitigation.”

References

  1. Akburak S, Makineci E (2016) Thinning effects on soil and microbial respiration in a coppice-originated Carpinus betulus L. stand in Turkey. iForest 9:783–790.  https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1810-009 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alarcón-Gutiérrez E, Floch C, Augur C, Le Petit J, Ziarelli F, Criquet C (2009) Spatial variations of chemical composition, microbial functional diversity, and enzyme activities in a Mediterranean litter (Quercus ilex L.) profile. Pedobiologia 52(6):387–399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Allison SD, Vitousek PM (2005) Responses of extracellular enzymes to simple and complex nutrient inputs. Soil Biol Biochem 37(5):937–944CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baldock JA, Oades JM, Waters AG, Peng X, Vassallo AM, Wilson MA (1992) Aspects of the chemical structure of soil organic materials as revealed by solid-state 13C NMR spectroscopy. Biogeochemistry 16(1):1–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bandick AK, Dick RP (1999) Field management effects on soil enzyme activities. Soil Biol Biochem 31:1471–1479CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bauer GA, Gebauer G, Harrison AF, Högberg P, Högbom L, Schinkel H, Taylor AFS, Novak M, Buzek F, Harkness D, Persson T, Schulze E-D (2000) Biotic and abiotic controls over ecosystem cycling of stable natural nitrogen, carbon and sulphur isotopes. In: Schulze ED (ed) Carbon and nitrogen cycling in European Forest Ecosystems. Ecological studies (analysis and synthesis), vol 142. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  7. Bending GD, Turner MK, Rayns F, Marx MC, Wood M (2004) Microbial and biochemical soil quality indicators and their potential for differentiating areas under contrasting agricultural management regimes. Soil Biol Biochem 36:1785–1792CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Berg B (2014) Decomposition patterns for foliar litter—a theory for influencing factors. Soil Biol Biochem 78:222–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Berg B, McClaugherty C (2003) Plant litter decomposition, humus formation, carbon sequestration. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  10. Berg B, McClaugherty C (eds) (2008) Plant litter. Decomposition, humus formation, carbon sequestration. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  11. Berg B, Johansson M-B, Meentemeyer V (2000) Litter decomposition in a climatic transect of Norway spruce forests: substrate quality and climate control. Can J For Res 30:1136–1147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Blanco JA, Imbert JB, Castillo FJ (2011) Thinning affects Pinus sylvestris needle decomposition rates and chemistry differently depending on site conditions. Biogeochemistry 106(3):397–414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Boczar BA, Forney LJ, Begley WM, Larson RJ, Federle TW (2001) Characterization and distribution of esterase activity in activated sludge. Water Res 35(17):4208–4216CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. Booth MS, Stark JM, Rastetter E (2005) Controls on nitrogen cycling in terrestrial ecosystems: a synthetic analysis of literature data. Ecol Monogr 75(2):139–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Bowden RD, Knute J, Nadelhoffer KJ, Boone RD, Melillo JM, Garrison JB (1993) Contributions of aboveground litter, belowground litter, and root respiration to total soil respiration in a temperate mixed hardwood forest. Can J For Res 23(7):1402–1407CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Bravo-Oviedo A, Ruiz-Peinado R, Modrego P, Alonso R, Montero G (2015) Forest thinning impact on carbon stock and soil condition in Southern European populations of P. sylvestris L. For Ecol Manag 357:259–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Bravo-Oviedo A, Ruiz-Peinado R, Onrubia R, del Río M (2017) Thinning alters the early-decomposition rate and nutrient immobilization-release pattern of foliar litter in Mediterranean oak–pine mixed stands. For Ecol Manag 391:309–320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Brovkin V, van Bodegom PM, Kleinen T, Wirth C, Cornwell WK, Cornelissen JHC, Kattge J (2012) Plant-driven variation in decomposition rates improves projections of global litter stock distribution. Biogeosciences 9:565–576CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Cenni E, Bussotti F, Galeotti L (1998) The decline of a Pinus nigra Arn. reforestation stand on a limestone substrate: the role of nutritional factors examined by means of foliar diagnosis. Ann Sci For 55:567–576CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cotrufo MF, Ineson P, Roberts JD (1995) Decomposition of birch leaf litters with varying C-to-N ratios. Soil Biol Biochem 27(9):1219–1221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Díaz-Pinés E, Rubio A, Van Miegroet H, Montes F, Benito M (2011) Does tree species composition control soil organic carbon pools in Mediterranean mountain forests? For Ecol Manag 262(10):1895–1904CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Dick WA, Thavamani B, Conley S, Blaisdell R, Sengupta A (2013) Prediction of β-glucosidase and β-glucosaminidase activities, soil organic C, and amino sugar N in a diverse population of soils using near infrared reflectance spectroscopy. Soil Biol Biochem 56:99–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Dukes JS, Field CB (2000) Diverse mechanisms for CO2 effects on grassland litter decomposition. Glob Change Biol 6(2):145–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Espinosa J, Madrigal J, De La Cruz AC, Guijarro M, Jiménez E, Hernando C (2018) Short-term effects of prescribed burning on litterfall biomass in mixed stands of Pinus nigra and Pinus pinaster and pure stands of Pinus nigra in the Cuenca Mountains (Central-Eastern Spain) 618:941–951Google Scholar
  25. Florence RG, Lamb D (1973) Influence of stand and site on radiata pine litter in South Australia, New Zealand. J For Sci 4:502–510Google Scholar
  26. Fog K (1988) The effect of added nitrogen on the rate of decomposition of organic matter. Biol Rev 63(3):433–462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gliksman D, Rey A, Seligmann R, Dumbur R, Sperling O, Navon Y et al (2017) Biotic degradation at night, abiotic degradation at day: positive feedbacks on litter decomposition in drylands. Glob Change Biol 23(4):1564–1574CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Güsewell S, Freeman C (2005) Nutrient limitation and enzyme activities during litter decomposition of nine wetland species in relation to litter N:P ratios. Funct Ecol 19(4):582–593CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Han T, Huang W, Liu J, Zhou G, Xiao Y (2015) Different soil respiration responses to litter manipulation in three subtropical successional forests. Sci Rep UK 5:18166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Heim A, Frey B (2004) Early stage litter decomposition rates for Swiss forests. Biogeochemistry 70(3):299–313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hoosbeek MR, Scarascia-Mugnozza GE (2009) Increased litter build up and soil organic matter stabilization in a poplar plantation after 6 years of atmospheric CO2 enrichment (FACE): final results of POP-EuroFACE compared to other forest FACE experiments. Ecosystems 12(2):220–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2006) 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Green-house Gas Inventories, vol 4, Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use. Eggleston S (ed) Institute for Global Environ. Strategies, HayamaGoogle Scholar
  33. Jandl R, Lindner M, Vesterdal L, Bauwens B, Baritz R, Hagedorn F, Johnson DW, Minkkinen K, Byrne KA (2007) How strongly can forest management influence soil carbon sequestration? Geoderma 137(3–4):253–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kavdir Y, Ekinci H, Yüksel O, Mermut AR (2005) Soil aggregate stability and 13C CP/MAS-NMR assessment of organic matter in soils influenced by forest wildfires in Canakkale, Turkey. Geoderma 129(3–4):219–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kavvadias VA, Alifragis D, Tsiontsis A, Brofas G, Stamatelos G (2001) Litterfall, litter accumulation and litter decomposition rates in four forest ecosystems in northern Greece. For Ecol Manag 144(1–3):113–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Khiewtam RS, Ramakrishnan PS (1993) Litter and fine root dynamics of a relict sacred grove forest at Cherrapunji in north-eastern India. For Ecol Manag 60(3–4):327–344CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kirschbaum MU (1995) The temperature dependence of soil organic matter decomposition, and the effect of global warming on soil organic C storage. Soil Biol Biochem 27(6):753–760CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Lado-Monserrat L, Lidón A, Bautista I (2015) Litterfall, litter decomposition and associated nutrient fluxes in Pinus halepensis: influence of tree removal intensity in a Mediterranean forest. Eur J For Res 134(5):833–844CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lindo Z, Visser S (2003) Microbial biomass, nitrogen and phosphorus mineralization, and mesofauna in boreal conifer and deciduous forest floors following partial and clear-cut harvesting. Can J For Res 33(9):1610–1620CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Liski J, Perruchoud D, Karjalainen T (2002) Increasing carbon stocks in the forest soils of western Europe. For Ecol Manag 169(1–2):159–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Luo Y, Zhou XH (2006) Soil respiration and the environment. Academic Press/Elsevier, San DiegoGoogle Scholar
  42. Maguire DA (1994) Branch mortality and potential litterfall from Douglas-fir trees in stands of varying density. For Ecol Manag 70(1–3):41–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Marx MC, Wood M, Jarvis SC (2001) A microplate fluorimetric assay for the study of enzyme diversity in soils. Soil Biol Biochem 33(12–13):1633–1640CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Matthews E (1997) Global litter production, pools, and turnover times: estimates from measurement data and regression models. J Geophys Res Atmos 102:18771–18800CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Melillo JM, Aber JD, Muratore JF (1982) Nitrogen and lignin control of hardwood leaf litter decomposition dynamics. Ecology 63(3):621–626CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Michel K, Matzner E (2002) Nitrogen content of forest floor Oa layers affects carbon pathways and nitrogen mineralization. Soil Biol Biochem 34:1807–1813CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Moore TR, Trofymow JA, Prescott CE, Fyles J, Titus BD (2006) Patterns of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus dynamics in decomposing foliar litter in Canadian forests. Ecosystems 9(1):46–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Mortimore JL, Marshall LJR, Almond MJ, Hollins P, Matthews W (2004) Analysis of red and yellow ochre samples from Clearwell Caves and Çatalhöyük by vibrational spectroscopy and other techniques. Spectrochim Acta A 60(5):1179–1188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Mudrick DA, Hoosein M, Hicks RR, Townsend EC (1994) Decomposition of leaf litter in an Appalachian forest: effects of leaf species, aspect, slope position and time. For Ecol Manag 68(2–3):231–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Navarro FB, Romero-Freire A, Del Castillo T, Foronda A, Jiménez MN, Ripoll MA, Sánchez-Miranda A, Hutsinger L, Fernández-Ondoño E (2013) Effects of thinning on litterfall were found after years in a Pinus halepensis afforestation area at tree and stand levels. For Ecol Manag 289:354–362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Neely CL, Beare MH, Hargrove WL, Coleman DC (1991) Relationships between fungal and bacterial substrate-induced respiration, biomass and plant residue decomposition. Soil Biol Biochem 23(10):947–954CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Nübel U, Engelen B, Felske A, Snaidr J, Wieshuber A, Amann RI, Ludwig W, Backhaus H (1996) Sequence heterogeneities of genes encoding 16S rRNAs in Paenibacillus polymyxa detected by temperature gradient gel electrophoresis. J Bacteriol 178(19):5636–5643CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  53. Oades JM (1988) The retention of organic matter in soils. Biogeochemistry 5(1):35–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Paletto A, De Meo I, Grilli G, Nikodinoska N (2017) Effects of different thinning systems on the economic value of ecosystem services: a case-study in a black pine peri-urban forest in Central Italy. Ann For Res 60:313–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Pastorelli R, Agnelli AE, De Meo I, Graziani A, Paletto A, Lagomarsino A (2017) Analysis of microbial diversity and greenhouse gas production of decaying pine logs. Forests 8(7):224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Quideau SA, Anderson MA, Graham RC, Chadwick OA, Trumbore SE (2000) Soil organic matter processes: characterization by 13C NMR and 14C measurements. For Ecol Manag 138(1–3):19–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Rey A, Pegoraro E, Tedeschi V, De Parri I, Jarvis PG, Valentini R (2002) Annual variation in soil respiration and its components in a coppice oak forest in Central Italy. Glob Change Biol 8:851–866CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Rinnan R, Rinnan Å (2007) Application of near infrared reflectance (NIR) and fluorescence spectroscopy to analysis of microbiological and chemical properties of arctic soil. Soil Biol Biochem 39:1664–1673CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Rodkey KS, Kaczmarek DJ, Pope PE (1995) The distribution of nitrogen and phosphorus in forest floor layers of oak-hickory forests of varying productivity. In: Gottschalk KW, Fosbroke SLC (eds) Proceedings, 10th Central hardwood forest conference; Morgantown, WV: Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-197. Radnor, PA: US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, vol 197, pp 94–108Google Scholar
  60. Roig S, Río M, Cañellas I, Montero G (2005) Litter fall in Mediterranean Pinus pinaster. Ait stands under different thinning regimes. For Ecol Manag 206(1–3):179–190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Romani AM, Fischer H, Mille-Lindblom C, Tranvik LJ (2006) Interactions of bacteria and fungi on decomposing litter: differential extracellular enzyme activities. Ecology 87(10):2559–2569CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Ruan H, Li Y, Zou X (2005) Soil communities and plant litter decomposition as influenced by forest debris: variation across tropical riparian and upland sites. Pedobiologia 49(6):529–538CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Rubino M, Dungait JAJ, Evershed RP, Bertolini T, De Angelis P, D’Onofrio A, Lagomarsino A, Lubritto C, Merola A, Terrasi F, Cotrufo MF (2010) Carbon input belowground is the major C flux contributing to leaf litter mass loss: evidences from a 13C labelled-leaf litter experiment. Soil Biol Biochem 42(7):1009–1016CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Ruiz-Peinado R, Bravo-Oviedo A, López-Senespleda E, Montero G, Río M (2013) Do thinnings influence biomass and soil carbon stocks in Mediterranean maritime pinewoods? Eur J For Res 132(2):253–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Schlesinger WH (1977) Carbon balance in terrestrial detritus. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 8(1):51–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Sherman DM, Waite TD (1985) Electronic spectra of Fe3+ oxides and oxide hydroxides in the near-IR to near-UV. Am Mineral 70:1262–1269Google Scholar
  67. Sinsabaugh RL, Moorhead DL, Linkins AE (1994) The enzymic basis of plant litter decomposition: emergence of an ecological process. Appl Soil Ecol 1(2):97–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Sinsabaugh RL, Carreiro MM, Repert DA (2002) Allocation of extracellular enzymatic activity in relation to litter composition, N deposition, and mass loss. Biogeochemistry 60:1–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Šnajdr J, Cajthaml T, Valášková V, Merhautová V, Petránková M, Spetz P et al (2011) Transformation of Quercus petraea litter: successive changes in litter chemistry are reflected in differential enzyme activity and changes in the microbial community composition. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 75(2):291–303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Subke JA, Hahn V, Battipaglia G, Linder S, Buchmann N, Cotrufo MF (2004) Feedback interactions between needle litter decomposition and rhizosphere activity. Oecologia 139(4):551–559CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  71. Tabatabai MA, Fu M (1992) Extraction of enzymes from soils. Soil Biochem 7:197–227Google Scholar
  72. Tan X, Chang SX, Comeau PG, Wang Y (2008) Thinning effects on microbial biomass, N mineralization, and tree growth in a mid-rotation fire-origin lodgepole pine stand in the lower foothills of Alberta, Canada. For Sci 54(4):465–474Google Scholar
  73. Thirukkumaran CM, Parkinson D (2000) Microbial respiration, biomass, metabolic quotient and litter decomposition in a lodgepole pine forest floor amended with nitrogen and phosphorous fertilizers. Soil Biol Biochem 32:59–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Trofymow JA, Moore TR, Titus B, Prescott C, Morrison I, Siltanen M, Smith S, Fyles J, Wein R, Camiré C, Duschene L, Kozak L, Kranabetter M, Visser S (2002) Rates of litter decomposition over 6 years in Canadian forests: influence of litter quality and climate. Can J For Res 32:789–804CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Vainio EJ, Hantula J (2000) Direct analysis of wood-inhabiting fungi using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of amplified ribosomal DNA. Mycol Res 104(8):927–936CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Van Wesemael B, Veer MAC (1992) Soil organic matter accumulation, litter decomposition and humus forms under Mediterranean-type forests in southern Tuscany, Italy. J Soil Sci 43(1):133–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Vepsäläinen M, Kukkonen S, Vestberg M, Sirviö H, Niemi RM (2001) Application of soil enzyme activity test kit in a field experiment. Soil Biol Biochem 33(12–13):1665–1672CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Waldrop MP, McColla JG, Powers RF (2003) Effects of forest postharvest management practices on enzyme activities in decomposing litter. Soil Sci Soc Am J 67:1250–1256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Wang Q, He T, Wang S, Liu L (2013a) Carbon input manipulation affects soil respiration and microbial community composition in a subtropical coniferous forest. Agric For Meteorol 178:152–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Wang H, Liu W, Wang W, Zu Y (2013b) Influence of long-term thinning on the biomass carbon and soil respiration in a Larch (Larix gmelinii) Forest in Northeastern China. Sci World J  https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/865645 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Xiao W, Ge X, Zeng L, Huang Z, Lei J, Zhou B, Li M (2014) Rates of litter decomposition and soil respiration in relation to soil temperature and water in different-aged Pinus massoniana Forests in the three Gorges Reservoir Area, China. PLoS ONE 9(7):e101890.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0101890 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  82. Yanai RD, Arthur MA, Siccama TG, Federer CA, Boyle JR, Powers RF (2000) Challenges of measuring forest floor organic matter dynamics: repeated measures from a chronosequence. For Ecol Manag 138:273–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Yuste JC, Penuelas J, Estiarte M, Garcia-Mas J, Mattana S, Ogaya R, Pujol M, Sardans J (2011) Drought-resistant fungi control soil organic matter decomposition and its response to temperature. Glob Change Biol 17(3):1475–1486CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Zeller B, Colin-Belgrand M, Dambrine E, Martin F, Bottner P (2000) Decomposition of 15N-labelled beech litter and fate of nitrogen derived from litter in a beech forest. Oecologia 123(4):550–559CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Zimmermann M, Meira P, Bird M, Malhi Y, Ccahuana A (2009) Litter contribution to diurnal and annual soil respiration in a tropical montane cloud forest. Soil Biol Biochem 41(6):1338–1340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Zornoza R, Guerrero C, Mataix-Solera J, Scow KM, Arcenegui V, Mataix-Beneyto J (2008) Near infrared spectroscopy for determination of various physical, chemical and biochemical properties in Mediterranean soils. Soil Biol Biochem 40:1923–1930CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura e l’analisi dell’economia agraria (CREA) Research Center Agriculture and Environment (AA)FlorenceItaly
  2. 2.Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura e l’analisi dell’economia agraria (CREA) Research Center for Forestry and Wood (FL)ArezzoItaly
  3. 3.Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Food SciencesUniversità degli studi del MoliseCampobassoItaly
  4. 4.Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Agrarie, Alimentari, Ambientali e Forestali (DAGRI)Università degli studi di FirenzeFlorenceItaly

Personalised recommendations