Biological Properties and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Two Different Land Uses of an Aquand

  • Nelson Beas
  • Felipe Zúñiga
  • Dorota Dec
  • José Dörner
  • Óscar Thiers
  • Óscar Martínez
  • Cristina Muñoz
  • Neal Stolpe
  • Leandro PaulinoEmail author
Research Article


Aquands have a shallow profile and an impermeable layer that restricts water movement. Land use changes alter the physical structure of Aquands and soil air fluxes. The impacts of land use changes on the soil’s biological activity, nutrients’ dynamics, and the production of greenhouse gases (GHG) have not been investigated in Aquands. We investigated an Aquand soil under a second-growth native forest (sNF) and unmanaged naturalized grassland (NG) in southern Chile (41° S). Soil samples from each land use were taken in different seasons and analyzed in a laboratory to determine the potential soil respiration, N mineralization, denitrification, and nitrate reductase activity. GHG fluxes (CO2, N2O, and CH4) were collected from static chambers on the soil’s surface. Soil respiration rates were higher in the sNF, but were temporally variable in NG. Nitrogen dynamics was not as clearly influenced by soil use changes. CO2 emissions varied seasonally and were always higher in the NG during the summer, suggesting a dependency on temperature and the changing thermal profile, while the N2O and CH4 in Aquands showed no evident spatiotemporal effects related to the historical land use change. Seasonal dynamics of water and air in the profile of Aquands are relevant for the biological processes related to C and N transformations. Land use change amplifies the production of CO2 under favorable conditions, but the biological activity of soil and nutrient dynamics of Aquands respond more to changes in soil organic matter quality than to seasonal variation in the edaphic environment.


Nothofagus forest Naturalized grassland Soil respiration N mineralization Denitrification Waterlogging 



Nelson Beas thanks the Scholarship V/2015/741 from Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico, which made his Master’s program at the Universidad de Concepción, Chile, possible. Finally, we are also grateful for the hospitality of the landowners Don Alfredo and Sra. Elba, and Katherine Rebolledo for her technical support on analytical determinations in the laboratory.

Funding Information

This research project received funding from the Fondecyt grant 1130546.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Sociedad Chilena de la Ciencia del Suelo 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nelson Beas
    • 1
  • Felipe Zúñiga
    • 2
    • 3
  • Dorota Dec
    • 2
    • 4
  • José Dörner
    • 2
    • 4
  • Óscar Thiers
    • 2
    • 5
  • Óscar Martínez
    • 2
    • 6
  • Cristina Muñoz
    • 7
  • Neal Stolpe
    • 7
  • Leandro Paulino
    • 2
    • 7
    Email author
  1. 1.Facultad de Agronomía, Programa de Magíster en Ciencias Agronómicas Mención Suelos y Recursos NaturalesUniversidad de ConcepciónChillánChile
  2. 2.Centro de Investigación en Suelos Volcánicos (CISVo)Universidad Austral de ChileValdiviaChile
  3. 3.Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Escuela de Graduados, Campus Isla TejaUniversidad Austral de ChileValdiviaChile
  4. 4.Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Instituto de Ingeniería Agraria y Suelos, Campus Isla TejaUniversidad Austral de ChileValdiviaChile
  5. 5.Facultad de Ciencias Forestales, Instituto de Bosques y Sociedad, Campus Isla TejaUniversidad Austral de ChileValdiviaChile
  6. 6.Facultad de Ciencias, Instituto de Bioquímica y Microbiología, Campus Isla TejaUniversidad Austral de ChileValdiviaChile
  7. 7.Facultad de Agronomía, Departamento de Suelos y Recursos NaturalesUniversidad de ConcepciónChillánChile

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