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Net nitrogen mineralization and nitrification in trembling aspen forest soils on the Boreal Plain

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Abstract:

In situ net N mineralization and net nitrification rates were measured in organic forest floor (LFH) and mineral horizons of mature and logged trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) stands on the Boreal Plain in western Canada. Cumulative May to September mineralization for mature and logged plots was 1354 ± 534 and 1631 ± 1584 mg N·m–2, respectively, in the LFH horizon and 810 ± 394 and –305 ± 3957 mg N·m–2, respectively, in the mineral horizon. Net nitrification in mature and logged plots was 86 ± 142 and 658 ± 435 mg NO3-N·m–2, respectively, in the LFH horizon and 67 ± 50 and 409 ± 325 mg NO3-N·m–2, respectively, in the mineral horizon. Monthly mean NH4-N concentrations in the LFH tended to be higher in logged plots than in mature plots. Winter net N mineralization and nitrification rates in the LFH of mature plots were up to 7% and 11% of growing season net rates, respectively. In comparison, these rates in logged plots were up to 127% and 59% of the growing season net rates, respectively, indicating that winter activity may make a large contribution to annual net mineralization and nitrification after logging.

Les taux nets de minéralisation et de nitrification in situ ont été mesurés dans la couverture morte (LFH) et les horizons minéraux de peuplements matures et récoltés de tremble (Populus tremuloides Michx.) dans la Plaine boréale de l'ouest du Canada. La minéralisation cumulative de mai à septembre pour les parcelles sous forêt mature et celles récoltées étaient respectivement de 1354 ± 534 et 1631 ± 1584 mg N·m–2 dans le LFH; dans l'horizon minéral, les valeurs respectives étaient de 810 ± 394 et –305 ± 3957 mg N·m–2. La nitrification nette dans les parcelles sous forêt mature et celles récoltées était respectivement de 86 ± 142 et 658 ± 435 mg N-NO3·m–2 dans le LFH; dans l'hori zon minéral, les valeurs respectives étaient de 67 ± 50 et 409 ± 325 mg N-NO3·m–2. Les concentrations moyennes mensuelles de N-NH4 dans le LFH avaient tendance à être plus élevées dans les parcelles récoltées que dans les parcelles sous forêt mature. Les taux nets hivernaux de minéralisation et de nitrification dans le LFH des parcelles sous forêt mature atteignaient respectivement jusqu'à 7 et 11 % des taux nets durant la saison de croissance. En comparaison, dans les parcelles récoltées ces taux atteignaient respectivement jusqu'à 127 et 59 % des taux nets durant la saison de croissance, indiquant que l'activité durant l'hiver peut contribuer de façon importante à la minéralisation et la nitrification nettes après récolte.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2003

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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