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Formation of forest gaps accelerates C, N and P release from foliar litter during 4 years of decomposition in an alpine forest

来源:生态林业研究所|作者:Xiangyin Ni . Bjo ¨rn Berg . Wanqin Yang . Han Li . Shu Liao . Bo Tan . Kai Yue . Zhenfeng Xu . Li Z|点击:

  

AbstractRelative to areas under canopy, the soils in forest gaps receive more irradiance and rainfall (snowfall); this change in microclimate induced by forest gaps may influence the release of carbon (C) and nutrients during litter decomposition. However, great uncertainty remains about the effects of forest gaps on litter decomposition. In this study, we incubated foliar litters from six tree and shrub species in forest gaps and canopy plots and measured the release of C, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in different snow cover periods in an alpine forest from 2012 to 2016. We found that N was retained by 24–46% but that P was immediately released during an early stage of decomposition. However, forest gaps decreased litter N retention, resulting in more N and P being released from decomposing litters for certain species (i.e., larch, birch and willow litters). Moreover, the release of C and nutrients during litter decomposition stimulated by forest gaps was primarily driven by warmer soil temperature in this high-altitude forest. We conclude that gap formation during forest regeneration may accelerate C turnover and nutrient cycling and that this stimulation might be regulated by the litter species in this seasonally snow-covered forest.

Keywords Alpine forest   Forest gap   Litter decomposition   Nitrogen retention   Phosphorus release



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