, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 142–150 | Cite as

Effects of tree species on soil carbon and nitrogen stocks in a coastal sand dune of southern subtropical China

  • Wei GaoEmail author
  • Shide Huang
  • Yongrong Huang
  • Xinjian Yue
  • Gongfu YeEmail author
Research Articles


Soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycles can be affected by different plant traits and stand properties through the influence of nutrients release to soil via mineralization. We investigated the soil C and N stocks under secondary forest and plantations of casuarina, pine, acacia and eucalyptus in a coast sand dune of Fujian province, China. Results show that the soil C and N storages, soil microbial biomass carbon (MBC), soil microbial biomass nitrogen (MBN), soil dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nitrogen (DON) were significantly higher under secondary forest than under plantations. No significant increase was found in soil C and N storages, MBC and DOC under N-fixing trees compared with non-N-fixing trees, but the MBN and DON under acacia were all higher than non-N-fixing trees. No significant difference was found in soil C storage, MBC, MBN, DOC and DON between coniferous and broadleaf plantations. Our findings indicate that the differences in litter quality and quantity, root biomass and turnover rate are the primary cause of soil C and N stocks in coastal sand dunes, and the lack of N fixation ability may be a significant factor influencing soil C and N stocks under N-fixing trees.


Coastal sand dune Tree species Soil carbon, soil nitrogen Forest conversation Subtropical China 



Wei Gao, Shide Huang and Yongrong Huang contributed equally. We thank Hai Liu and Zhiyong Chen for assistance in the field and laboratory measurements.


This work was supported by the Science and Technology Major Project of Fujian Province under Grant (2018NZ0001-1), the Natural Science Foundation of Fujian Province under Grant (2016J01116), the Basal Research Fund of Fujian provincial Public Scientific Research Institution support (2014R1011-7), and the Casuarina Research Center of Engineering of Fujian Province.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.


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Copyright information

© Society for Plant Research 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Institute of Ecological Environment, Fujian Academy of ForestryFuzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Forest Culture and Forest Product Processing Utilization of Fujian ProvinceFuzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.College of ForestryFujian Agriculture and Forestry UniversityFuzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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