In the present study, rates of litter decomposition and microbial biomass nitrogen were monitored over an 8-month period in a young broadleaf plantation (18 y) and in an old floodplain forest. Moreover, δ13C and δ15N temporal variations within soil profiles were evaluated at both sites. Rates of litter decomposition were higher in spring and autumn than in summer, in both forests. At the end of the observation period the percentage of original litter remaining was not statistically different between the young and the old forest and accounted for 60–70% of the original amount. Microbial biomass nitrogen in the remaining litter and the percentage of litter mass lost during decomposition were positively correlated. The difference in litter quality affected the decomposition rate and also the changes in carbon isotopic composition during the decomposition process. In contrast, 15N isotopic signatures showed a similar trend in the litter of the two forests irrespective of the litter quality. Although δ13Csoil and δ15Nsoil showed considerable temporal variation they increased with depth in the soils of both sites but their seasonal changes did not reflect those of the decomposing litter. Within the same soil horizon, both δ13C and δ15N showed similar seasonal trends in the soils of the two forests, suggesting the involvement of environmental factors acting at regional level, such as soil temperature and rainfall variations, in regulating seasonal δ13C and δ15N soil variations.

Isotopic discrimination during litter decomposition and d13C and d15N soil profiles in a young artificial stand and in an old floodplain forest.

GIOACCHINI, PAOLA;BOLDREGHINI, PIETRO;MASIA, ANDREA;TONON, GIUSTINO
2006

Abstract

In the present study, rates of litter decomposition and microbial biomass nitrogen were monitored over an 8-month period in a young broadleaf plantation (18 y) and in an old floodplain forest. Moreover, δ13C and δ15N temporal variations within soil profiles were evaluated at both sites. Rates of litter decomposition were higher in spring and autumn than in summer, in both forests. At the end of the observation period the percentage of original litter remaining was not statistically different between the young and the old forest and accounted for 60–70% of the original amount. Microbial biomass nitrogen in the remaining litter and the percentage of litter mass lost during decomposition were positively correlated. The difference in litter quality affected the decomposition rate and also the changes in carbon isotopic composition during the decomposition process. In contrast, 15N isotopic signatures showed a similar trend in the litter of the two forests irrespective of the litter quality. Although δ13Csoil and δ15Nsoil showed considerable temporal variation they increased with depth in the soils of both sites but their seasonal changes did not reflect those of the decomposing litter. Within the same soil horizon, both δ13C and δ15N showed similar seasonal trends in the soils of the two forests, suggesting the involvement of environmental factors acting at regional level, such as soil temperature and rainfall variations, in regulating seasonal δ13C and δ15N soil variations.
GIOACCHINI P.; BOLDREGHINI P.; MASIA A.; CANACCINI F.; TONON G.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/32790
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