Plant and Soil, 2018, Vol.432(1), pp.289-301
The accumulation of organic layers in forests is linked to decreasing nutrient availability. Organic layers might represent a source of phosphorus (P) nutrition of trees in forests. Our aims were i) to test if the fate of P in a tree sapling-soil system differs between nutrient-poor and nutrient-rich sites, and ii) to assess the influence of organic layers on the fate of P in a tree sapling-soil system at either site.We conducted a 33P labeling experiment of mesocosms of beech (Fagus sylvatica) saplings.Recovery of 33P in the organic layer was greater under nutrient-poor than under nutrient-rich conditions likely caused by the abundance of microorganisms and roots. Under nutrient-poor conditions, we found that the mobilization of P followed by efficient uptake promoted tree sapling growth if the organic layer was present. The presence of organic layers did not significantly influence P uptake by beech saplings under nutrient-rich conditions suggesting mechanisms of P mobilization in addition to organic matter mineralization.Our results highlight the importance of organic layers for P nutrition of young beech trees growing on nutrient-poor soils in temperate forest ecosystems. The role of organic layers should be considered for sustainable forest management.
P tracer ; Phosphorus nutrition ; Forest floor ; Soil ; Beech ; Phosphorus uptake
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