Advertisement

Plant and Soil

, Volume 337, Issue 1–2, pp 93–110 | Cite as

Microbial N turnover processes in three forest soil layers following clear cutting of an N saturated mature spruce stand

  • B. Matejek
  • C. Huber
  • M. Dannenmann
  • M. Kohlpaintner
  • R. Gasche
  • H. Papen
Regular Article

Abstract

Microbial N turnover processes were investigated in three different forest soil layers [organic (O) layer, 0–10 cm depth (M1), 10–40 cm depth (M2)] after the clear cutting of a nitrogen (N) saturated spruce stand at the Höglwald Forest (Bavaria, Germany). The aim of the study was to provide detailed insight into soil-layer specific microbial production and the consumption of inorganic N within the main rooting zone. Furthermore, we intended to clarify the relevance of each soil layer investigated in respect of the observed high spatial variation of seepage water nitrate (NO 3 ) concentration at a depth of 40 cm. The buried bag and the 15N pool dilution techniques were applied to determine the net and gross N turnover rates. In addition, soil pH, C:N ratio, pool sizes of soil ammonium (NH 4 + ) and NO 3 , as well as quantities of microbial biomass carbon (Cmic) and nitrogen (Nmic) were determined. The 40 cm thick upper mineral soil was found to be the main place of NO 3 production with a NO 3 supply or net nitrification three times higher than in the considerably thinner O layer. Nevertheless, O layer nitrification processes determined via in situ field experiments showed significant correlation with seepage water NO 3 . An improved correlation noted several months after the cut may result from a transport-induced time shift of NO 3 with downstream hydrological pathways. In contrast, the soil laboratory incubation experiments found no indication that mineral soil is relevant for the spatial heterogeneity of seepage water NO 3 . The results from our study imply that in situ experiments may be better suited to studies investigating N turnover in relation to NO 3 loss via seepage water in similar ecosystems in order to gain representative data.

Keywords

Spatial variability Net nitrification Gross nitrification Nitrate leaching Clear cut 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) under contract number PA 442/5-2.

References

  1. Accoe F, Boeckx P, Busschaert J, Hofman G, Van Cleemput O (2004) Gross transformation rates and net N mineralization rates related to the C and N contents of soil organic matter fractions in grassland soils of different age. Soil Biol Biochem 36:2075–2087CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Booth MS, Stark JM, Rastetter E (2005) Controls on nitrogen cycling in terrestrial ecosystems: a synthetic analysis of literature data. Ecol Mon 75:139–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Borman FH, Likens GE (1979) Pattern and process in a forested ecosystem: disturbance, development and steady state based on the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study. Springer, New York, p 253Google Scholar
  4. Bremer E, van Kessel C (1990) Extractability of microbial 14C and 15N following addition of variable rates of labeled glucose and ammonium sulphate to soil. Soil Biol Biochem 22:707–713CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brookes PC, Landman A, Pruden G, Jenkinson DS (1985) Chloroform fumigation and the release of soil nitrogen: a rapid extraction method for measuring microbial biomass in soil. Soil Biol Biochem 17:837–842CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brookes PD, Stark JM, Mc Inteer BB, Preston T (1989) Diffusion method to prepare soil extracts for automated nitrogen-15 analysis. Soil Sci Soc Am J 53:1707–1711CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Burger M, Jackson LE (2003) Microbial immobilization of ammonium and nitrate in relation to ammonification and nitrification rates in organic and conventional cropping systems. Soil Biol Biochem 35:29–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Butterbach-Bahl K, Breuer L, Gasche R, Willibald G, Papen H (2002) Exchange of trace gases between soils and atmosphere in Scots pine forest ecosystems of the northeastern German Lowlands. 1. Fluxes of N2O, NO/NO2 and CH4 at forest sites with different N-deposition. For Ecol Manage 167:123–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Creed IF, Band LE (1998) Export of nitrogen from catchments within a temperate forest: evidence for a unifying mechanism regulated by variable source area dynamics. Water Resour Res 34:105–120Google Scholar
  10. Cummins T, Farrell EP (2003) Biogeochemical impacts of clearfelling and reforestation on blanket-peatland streams—II. major ions and dissolved organic carbon. For Ecol Manage 180:557–570CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dahlgren RA, Driscoll CT (1994) The effects of whole-tree clear-cutting on soil processes at the Hubbard-Brook-Experimental-Forest, New-Hampshire, USA. Plant Soil 158:239–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dannenmann M, Gasche R, Ledebuhr A, Papen H (2006) Effects of forest management on soil N-cycling in beech forests stocking on calcareous soils. Plant Soil 287:279–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Davidson EA, Hart SC, Shanks CA, Firestone MK (1991) Measuring gross nitrogen mineralization, immobilization, and nitrification by 15N isotopic pool dilution in intact soil cores. J Soil Sci 42:335–349CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. de Vries FT, Hoffland E, van Eekeren N, Brussaard L, Bloem J (2006) Fungal/bacterial ratios in grasslands with contrasting nitrogen management. Soil Biol Biochem 38(8):2092–2103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dise NB, Wright RF (1995) Nitrogen leaching from European forests in relation to nitrogen deposition. For Ecol Manage 71:153–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dise NB, Rothwell JJ, Gauci V, van der Salm C, de Vries W (2009) Predicting dissolved inorganic nitrogen leaching in European forests using two independent databases. Sci Total Environ 407(5):1798–1808CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Eno CF (1960) Nitrate production in the field by incubating the soil in polyethylene bags. Soil Sci Soc Am Proc 24:277–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Goodale CL, Aber JD, McDowell WH (2000) The long-term effects of disturbance on organic and inorganic nitrogen export in the White Mountains, New Hampshire. Ecosystems 3:433–450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gundersen P, Schmidt IK, Raulund-Rasmussen K (2006) Leaching of nitrate from temperate forests—effects of air pollution and forest management. Environ Rev 14:1–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hart SC, Stark JM, Davidson EA, Firestone MK (1994) Nitrogen mineralization, immobilization, and nitrification. In: Methods of soil analysis, Part 2. Microbiological and biochemical properties. Soil Sci Soc Am Book Ser 5. SSSA. Madison, WI, USA, pp 985–1018Google Scholar
  21. Hatch DJ, Jarvis SC, Parkinson RJ, Lovell RD (2000) Combining field incubations with nitrogen-15 labelling to examine nitrogen transformations in low to high intensity grassland management systems. Biol Fert Soils 30:492–499CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hoffmann G (1991) Handbuch der landwirtschaftlichen Versuchs- und Untersuchungs-anstalten (Methodenhandbuch) Band 1: Die Untersuchung von Böden. In: Basler R (Eds.) VDUFLA-Verlag, Darmstadt, pp 1740Google Scholar
  23. Holloway JM, Dahlgren RA, Hansen B, Casey WH (1998) Contribution of bedrock nitrogen to high nitrate concentrations in stream water. Nature 395:785–788CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Huber C (2005) Long lasting nitrate leaching after bark beetle attack in the highlands of the Bavarian Forest National Park. J Environ Qual 34:1772–1779CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Huber C, Kreutzer K (2002) Three years of continuous measurements of atmospheric ammonia concentrations over a forest stand at the Höglwald site in southern Bavaria. Plant Soil 240:13–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Huber C, Kreutzer K, Röhle H, Rothe A (2004a) Response of artificial acid irrigation, liming, and N-fertilisation on elemental concentrations in needles, litter fluxes, volume increment, and crown transparency of an N saturated Norway spruce stand. For Ecol Manage 200:3–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Huber C, Weis W, Baumgarten M, Göttlein A (2004b) Spatial and temporal variation of seepage water chemistry after femel and small-scale clear-cutting in an N-saturated Norway spruce stand. Plant Soil 267:23–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Huber C, Weis W, Göttlein A (2006) Tree nutrition of Norway spruce as modified by liming and experimental acidification an the Höglwald site, Germany, from 1982 to 2004. Ann Forest Sci 63:861–869CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Huber C, Aherne J, Weis W, Farrell EP, Göttlein A, Cummins T (2010) Ion concentrations and fluxes of seepage water before and after clear cutting of Norway spruce stands at Ballyhooly, Ireland, and Höglwald, Germany. Revised version submitted to Biogeochemistry in April 2010Google Scholar
  30. Ingwersen J, Butterbach-Bahl K, Gasche R, Richter O, Papen H (1999) Barometric process separation: new method for quantifying nitrification, denitrification, and nitrous oxide sources in soils. Soil Sci Soc Am J 63:117–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Ingwersen J, Schwarz U, Stange CF, Ju X, Streck T (2008) Shortcomings in the commercialized Barometric Process Separation Measuring System. Soil Sci Soc Am J 72:135–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Jenkinson DS, Brookes PC, Powlson DS (2004) Measuring soil microbial biomass. Soil Biol Biochem 36:5–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Joergensen RG, Brookes PC (2005) Quantification of soil microbial biomass by fumigation-extraction. Soil Biol 5:281–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Joergensen RG, Müller T (1996) The fumigation extraction method to estimate soil microbial biomass: Calibration of the KEN-factor. Soil Biol Biochem 28:33–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kirkham D, Bartholomew WV (1954) Equations for following nutrient transformations in soil. Soil Sci Soc Am J 18:33–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kohlpaintner M, Huber C, Weis W, Göttlein A (2009) Spatial and temporal variability of nitrate concentration in seepage water under a mature Norway spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst] stand before and after clear cut. Plant Soil 314:285–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kreutzer K (1992) Forest response to a changing environment—Central and Northern European aspects. In: Teller A, Mathy P, Jeffers JNR (eds), Responses of Forest Ecosystems to Environmental Changes. Commission of the European Communities. Publ. No. EUR 13902a. Elsevier Appl Se, pp 279–297Google Scholar
  38. Kreutzer K, Weiss T (1998) The Höglwald field experiments—aims, concepts and basic data. Plant Soil 199:1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Laverman AM, Braster M, Röling WFM, van Verselveld HW (2005) Bacterial community structure and metabolic profiles in a forest soil exhibiting spatially variable net nitrate production. Soil Biol Biochem 37:1581–1588CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Manderscheid B, Matzner E (1995a) Spatial and temporal variation of soil solution chemistry and ion fluxes through the soil in a mature Norway-Spruce (Picea-Abies (L.) Karst) Stand. Biogeochemistry 30:99–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Manderscheid B, Matzner E (1995b) Spatial heterogeneity of soil solution chemistry in a mature Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst) stand. Water Air Soil Pollut 85:1185–1190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Matejek B, Kohlpaintner M, Gasche R, Huber C, Dannenmann M, Papen H (2008) The small-scale pattern of seepage water nitrate concentration in an N saturated spruce forest is regulated by net N mineralization in the organic layer. Plant Soil 310:167–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Matejek B, Huber C, Dannenmann M, Kohlpaintner M, Gasche R, Göttlein A, Papen H (2009) Microbial N-turnover processes within the soil profile of an nitrogen-saturated spruce forest and their relation to the small-scale pattern of seepage-water nitrate. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci 173(2):224–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Mellert KH, Kölling C, Rehfuess KE (1996) Stoffaustrag aus Fichtenwaldökosystemen Bayerns nach Sturmwurf. Forstwiss Cent Bl 115:363–377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Mueller T, Joergensen RG, Meyer B (1992) Estimation of soil microbial biomass C in the presence of fresh roots by fumigation-extraction. Soil Biol Biochem 24:179–181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Müller C, Abbasi MK, Kammann C, Clough TJ, Sherlock RR, Stevens RJ, Jäger HJ (2004) Soil respiratory quotient determined via barometric process separation combined with nitrogen-15 labeling. Soil Sci Soc Am J 68:1610–1615CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Paul EA, Clark FE (1989) Soil microbiology and biochemistry. Academic, San Diego, p 275Google Scholar
  48. Persson T, Wirén A (1995) Nitrogen mineralization and potential nitrification at different depths in acid forest soils. Plant Soil 168–169:55–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Piirainen S, Finer L, Mannerkoski H, Starr M (2002) Effects of forest clear-cutting on the carbon and nitrogen fluxes through podzolic soil horizons. Plant Soil 239:301–311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Pulleman M, Tietema A (1999) Microbial C and N transformations during drying and rewetting of coniferous forest floor material. Soil Biol Biochem 31:275–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Rice CW, Tiedje JM (1989) Regulation of nitrate assimilation by ammonium in soils and in isolated soil microorganisms. Soil Biol Biochem 2:597–602CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Rosenkranz P, Brüggemann N, Papen H, Xu Z, Horváth L, Butterbach-Bahl K (2006) Soil N and C trace gas fluxes and microbial soil N turnover in a sessile oak (Quercus petraea (Matt.) Liebl.) forest in Hungary. Plant Soil 286:301–322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Rothe A, Mellert KH (2004) Effects of forest management on nitrate concentrations in seepage water of forests in southern Bavaria, Germany. Water Air Soil Pollut 156:337–355CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Rothe A, Huber C, Kreutzer K, Weis W (2002) Deposition and soil leaching in stands of Norway spruce and European beech: results from the Höglwald research in comparison with other case studies. Plant Soil 240:33–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Selby B (1965) The index of dispersion as a test statistic. Biometrika 52:627–629Google Scholar
  56. Stark JM, Hart SC (1997) High rates of nitrification and nitrate turnover in undisturbed coniferous forests. Nature 385:61–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Stoddard JL (1994) Long-term changes in watershed retention of nitrogen. In: Baker L (eds), Environmental chemistry of lakes and reservoirs. Advances in Chemistry Series (237). American Chemical Society. Washington D.C., pp 237-271Google Scholar
  58. Vance ED, Brookes PC, Jenkinson DS (1987) An extraction method for measuring soil microbial biomass C. Soil Biol Biochem 19:703–707CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Van Der Eerden L, De Vries W, Van Dobben H (1998) Effects of ammonia deposition of forests in the Netherlands. Atmos Environ 32:525–532CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Vervaet H, Boeckx P, Boko AMC, van Cleemput O, Hofmann G (2004) The role of gross and net transformation processes and NH4+ and NO3 immobilization in controlling the mineral N pool of a temperate mixed deciduous forest soil. Plant Soil 264:349–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Vitousek PM, Gosz JR, Grier CC, Melillo JM, Reiners WA, Todd RL (1979) Nitrate losses from disturbed ecosystems. Science 204:469–474CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  62. Vitousek PM, Aber J, Howarth RW, Likens GE, Matson PA, Schindler DW, Schlesinger WH, Tilman GD (1997) Human alteration of the global nitrogen cycle: causes and consequnces. Ecol Appl 7:737–750Google Scholar
  63. Weis W (2002) Beeinflusst der Standort den Nitrataustrag? In: Bayersiche Landesanstalt für Wald und Forstwirtschaft (eds), Stickstoff in Bayerns Wäldern. LWF-aktuell 34: pp 21–24Google Scholar
  64. Weis W, Huber C, Göttlein A (2001) Regeneration of mature Norway spruce stands: early effects of selective cutting and clear cutting on seepage water quality and soil fertility. Sci World J 1:493–499Google Scholar
  65. Weis W, Rotter V, Göttlein A (2006) Water and element fluxes during the regeneration of Norway spruce with European beech: effects of shelterwood-cut and clear-cut. For Ecol Manage 224:304–317CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Weis W, Baier R, Huber C, Göttlein A (2007) Long term effects of acid irrigation at the Höglwald on seepage water chemistry and nutrient cycling. Water Air Soil Pollut Focus 7:211–223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Zhong Z, Makeschin F (2006) Differences of soil microbial biomass and nitrogen transformation under two forest types in central Germany. Plant Soil 283:287–297CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Matejek
    • 1
  • C. Huber
    • 2
  • M. Dannenmann
    • 1
  • M. Kohlpaintner
    • 2
  • R. Gasche
    • 1
  • H. Papen
    • 1
  1. 1.Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK), Atmospheric Environmental Research (IFU)Garmisch-PartenkirchenGermany
  2. 2.Technische Universität München, Wissenschaftszentrum Weihenstephan, Fachgebiet für Waldernährung und WasserhaushaltFreisingGermany

Personalised recommendations