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See detailElement fluxes, forest floor characteristics and microbial activities under deciduous tree species after conversion of a Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) stand
Bazgir, Masoud ULg; Guillaume, Patricia ULg; Carnol, Monique ULg

Poster (2011, March)

Forest management is currently confronted with major questions, such as how to adapt plantation forests to a changing world. This questioning is not only essential with regard to forest health and ... [more ▼]

Forest management is currently confronted with major questions, such as how to adapt plantation forests to a changing world. This questioning is not only essential with regard to forest health and productivity, but also within the frame of climate mitigation. As Norway spruce monocultures (Picea abies) have been planted in Europe beyond their assumed natural range, are subjected to forest decline and have negative impacts on ecological conditions, conversion into mixed stands has been suggested. Tree species can influence nutrient inputs, soil microbial activity, soil chemistry and nutrient cycling in forest ecosystems. These tree species effects on biogeochemical cycles may vary according to soil type, site characteristics and land use history. The objective of the present study was to quantify element fluxes in throughfall and seepage water, forest floor exchangeable element pools and nitrogen transformations, 12 years after conversion from Picea abies monocultures to a mixed forest stand. Measurements were performed under young and mature Picea abies, Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertn., Quercus robur L. and Sorbus aucuparia L. Thus trees have grown on the same site, sharing identical initial soil conditions and site history, so that potential effects on microbial processes and soil properties can be imputed to tree species. Results showed that conversion had a short term impact on nutrient budgets and nutrient cycling in the upper soil layer; in particular on input fluxes of acidifying cations, soil base saturation, net N mineralization and nitrification. [less ▲]

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See detailTree species effects on soil microbial activities in a young stand
Guillaume, Patricia ULg; Bazgir, Masoud; Carnol, Monique ULg et al

Poster (2010, October)

Tree species effects on soil characteristics and biogeochemistry are mediated by several factors including microclimatic conditions, ground vegetation cover, quality and quantity of litter and roots ... [more ▼]

Tree species effects on soil characteristics and biogeochemistry are mediated by several factors including microclimatic conditions, ground vegetation cover, quality and quantity of litter and roots exudates, interception of atmospheric particules and aerosols, as well as secondary metabolites from litter. Moreover, the effects depend on the activities and characteristics of the microbial populations. Due to complex interactions, tree species effects on biogeochemical cycles may vary according to soil type, site characterisitcs and history, and climate. However, these questions about tree species effects on biogeochemical cycles are of central interest to forested ecosystems functions, such as soil quality (restoration) and soil water protection. This work is part of a long-term study on concentrations and fluxes in main compartments of 2 forested watersheds (Waroneu and Robinette, east Belgium) in relation with forest management. After 2 spruce generations, the Robinette catchment was partially clear-cut in 1996. Since 1998, this watershed is experiencing an ‘extensive’ afforestartion with a mixture of main and secondary tree species, adapted to specific site conditions. This site, provides the opportunity to study tree species effects on the same soil, with the same history. Morever, tree species have different ecological characteristics: N2 fixing species (Alnus glutinosa), secondary broadleaved species (Betula pendula, Sorbus aucuparia, Salix aurita), main broadleaved sepcies (Quercus robur and Fagus sylvatica) and spruce (Picea abies). Here, we analysed the effects of tree species on soil pH and soil microbial activities in the organic layer in relation to carbon and nitrogen cycles: microbial biomass, basal respiration, labile carbon, nitrogen net mineralisation and potential nitrification. Twelve years after plantation, our results showed differences below the different tree species: (1) a higher microbial biomass and a higher substrate use efficiency and organic matter accessbility for microbial populations below spruce as compared with other tree species; (2) higher pH and microbial biomass below secondary than below main broadleaved species; (3) an enhanced nitrification below alder; (4) a higher leaching of nitrate below broadleaved species than below spruce. These results show a short term impact of forest tree species on microbial activities in upper soil layers. Results are discussed in relation to ecological characteristics of tree species. [less ▲]

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See detailCanopy-atmosphere interaction in forests: a key process in nutrient cycling and pollution interception
Carnol, Monique ULg; Guillaume, Patricia ULg

in Book of Abstracts, SCK-CEN-BLG-1032, Topical day on: Biogeochemical response of forest vegetation to chronic pollution: processes, dynamics and modelling (2006)

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