Complementary models of tree species-soil relationships in old-growth temperate forests

By:  and 



Ecosystem level studies identify plant soil feed backs as important controls on soil nutrient availability,particularly for nitrogen and phosphorus. Although site and species specific studies of tree species soil relationships are relatively common,comparatively fewer studies consider multiple coexisting speciesin old-growth forests across a range of sites that vary underlying soil fertility. We characterized patterns in forest floor and mineral soil nutrients associated with four common tree species across eight undisturbed old-growth forests in Oregon, USA, and used two complementary conceptual models to assess tree species soil relationships. Plant soil feedbacks that could reinforce sitelevel differences in nutrient availability were assessed using the context dependent relationships model, where by relative species based differences in each soil nutrient divergedorconvergedas nutrient status changed across sites. Tree species soil relationships that did not reflect strong feedbacks were evaluated using a site independent relationships model, where by forest floor and surface mineral soil nutrient tools differed consistently by tree species across sites,without variation in deeper mineral soils. We found that theorganically cycled elements carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus exhibited context-dependent differences among species in both forest floor and mineral soil, and most of ten followed adivergence model,where by species differences were greatest at high-nutrient sites. These patterns are consistent with the oryemphasizing biotic control of these elements through plant soil feedback mechanisms. Site independent species differences were strongest for pool so if the weather able cations calcium, magnesium, potassium,as well as phosphorus, in mineral soils. Site independent species differences in forest floor nutrients we reattributable too nespecies that displayed significant greater forest floor mass accumulation. Our finding confirmed that site-independent and context-dependent tree species-soil relationships occur simultaneouslyinold-grow the temperate forests, with context-dependent relationships strongest for organically cycled elements, and site-independent relationships strongest for weather able elements with in organic cycling phases. These models provide complementary explanations for patterns of nutrient accumulation and cycling in mixed species old-growth temperate forests.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Complementary models of tree species-soil relationships in old-growth temperate forests
Series title Ecosystems
Volume 14
Issue 2
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Springer
Publisher location Netherlands
Contributing office(s) Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
Description 13 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Ecosystems
First page 248
Last page 260