Soil processes and microbial community structures in 45- and 135-year-old lodgepole pine stands

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As forests develop, changes in soil organic matter quantity and quality affect both nutrient dynamics and microbial community structure. Litter decomposition and nitrogen mineralization in association with soil microbial communities were compared between 45- and 135-year-old lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia (Englem.)) stands in southeastern Wyoming, USA. Compared with the 45-year-old stand, the 135-year-old stand was found to have greater live-tree biomass, litter decomposition rates (264 versus 135mg·(g litter)–1·year–1), soil nitrification rates (0.38 versus 0.19g NO3·(g soil)–1 after 265days of field incubation), and total phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) concentrations (25 versus 9.2 nmol·(g soil)–1 at 0–5cm depth). Canonical correspondence analysis indicated that variation of PLFA profiles within the 45-year-old stand was explained by soil pH and bulk density, whereas soil process rates explained the distributions of PLFA profiles within the 135-year-old stand. The results of these studies indicate that stand age influences live-tree biomass and soil properties that can lead to changes in litter decomposition rates and soil microbial communities in lodgepole pine forests.

À mesure que la forêt se développe, les changements dans la qualité et la quantité de matière organique du sol influencent la dynamique des nutriments et la structure des communautés microbiennes. Nous avons comparé la décomposition de la litière et la minéralisation de l’azote en lien avec les communautés microbiennes du sol dans des peuplements de pin tordu latifolié (Pinus contorta var. latifolia Engelm.) âgés de 45 et 135 ans dans le sud-est du Wyoming, aux États-Unis. La biomasse des arbres vivants, le taux de décomposition de la litière (264 versus 135 mg·(g de litière)–1·an–1), le taux de nitrification dans le sol (0,38 versus 0,19g NO3·(g de sol)–1 après 265 jours d’incubation sur le terrain) et la concentration totale en acides gras phospholipidiques (AGPL) (25 versus 9,2nmol·(g de sol)–1 à une profondeur de 0–5cm) étaient plus élevés dans le peuplement âgé de 135 ans que dans le peuplement âgé de 45 ans. L’analyse canonique de correspondance indique que la variation des profils d’AGPL dans le peuplement âgé de 45 ans est expliquée par le pH et la densité apparente du sol et que le taux des processus du sol explique la distribution des profils d’APGL dans le peuplement âgé de 135 ans. Les résultats montrent que l’âge du peuplement influence la biomasse des arbres vivants et les propriétés du sol qui peuvent se traduire par des changements dans le taux de décomposition de la litière et les communautés microbiennes dans les forêts de pin tordu latifolié.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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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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