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Litter decomposition in a subtropical plantation in Qianyanzhou, China
Xu S. G.; Liu Y. F.; Cui Y. G.; Pei Z. Y.
Source PublicationJournal of Forest Research
KeywordLitter Decomposition Subtropical Plantation Delta(13)c Delta(15)n Soil Organic-matter Carbon-isotope Dynamics Leaf-litter Tropical Forest Rain-forest Discrimination Lignin Rates C-13 Fractionation
AbstractA long-term (20 months) bulk litter decomposition experiment was conducted in a subtropical plantation in southern China in order to test the hypothesis that stable isotope discrimination occurs during litter decomposition and that litter decomposition increases concentrations of nutrients and organic matter in soil. This was achieved by a litter bag technique. Carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentrations in the remaining litter as well as delta(13)C and delta(15)N during the experimental period were measured. Meanwhile, organic C, alkali-soluble N and available P concentrations were determined in the soils beneath litter bags and in the soils at the control plots. The dry mass remaining (as % of the initial mass) during litter decomposition exponentially declined (y = 0.9362 e(-0.0365x) , R (2) = 0.93, P < 0.0001), but total C in the remaining litter did not decrease significantly with decomposition process during a 20-month period. By comparison, total N in the remaining litter significantly increased from 5.8 +/- A 1.7 g kg(-1) dw litter in the first month to 10.1 +/- A 1.4 g kg(-1) dw litter in the 20th month. During the decomposition, delta(13)C values of the remaining litter showed an insignificant enrichment, while delta(15)N signatures exhibited a different pattern. It significantly depleted (15)N (y = -0.66x + 0.82, R (2) = 0.57, P < 0.0001) during the initial 7 months while showing (15)N enrichments in the remaining 13 months (y = 0.10x - 4.23, R (2) = 0.32, P < 0.0001). Statistically, litter decomposition has little impact on concentrations of soil organic C and alkali-soluble N and available P in the top soil. This indicates that nutrient return to the topsoil through litter decomposition is limited and that C cycling decoupled from N cycling during decomposition in this subtropical plantation in southern China.
Indexed BySCI
Document TypeSCI/SSCI论文
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Xu S. G.,Liu Y. F.,Cui Y. G.,et al. Litter decomposition in a subtropical plantation in Qianyanzhou, China. 2011.
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