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  • Lang, F  (18)
  • Forests
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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Forest Ecology and Management, 01 January 2016, Vol.359, pp.74-82
    Description: Harvesting and logging with heavy forest machines cause soil damage that may restrict forest soil functions. Although the recovery ability of compacted forest soils depends on the soil properties, little is known about the long-term structure recovery of different soils following forest operations. The aim of our study was to evaluate the soil structure recovery of three different soil types. Therefore, we applied a space-for-time substitution approach (10, 20, 30 and 40 years after the last machine impact) to study selected sites in Lower Saxony, Germany, using the following as proxies: bulk density, carbon dioxide (CO ) concentration in soil gas, and the relative apparent gas diffusion coefficient ( / ). At sites with high biological activity and high clay content (Cambisols on limestone), recovery occurred 10–20 years after last traffic impact. At these sites, 10 years after the last traffic impact, gas diffusivity at the wheel track was half of the gas diffusivity of the undisturbed soil, and soil gas CO concentrations were significantly higher at the wheel tracks. At the 20-, 30-, and 40-year-old skid trails, there were no significant differences between the untrafficked reference and the soil frequented by vehicles. Regardless of the kind of traffic impact (wheel track, mid line, side strip or undisturbed reference soil), all investigated parameters indicated that soil structure becomes more favourable with increasing time since the last forest interference. In contrast, loamy sandy soils (Podzols on glacial drift and sand) showed low recovery ability. Forty years after the last machine impact, gas diffusivity was still significantly reduced at the wheel track. Cambisols at loess-covered sandstone showed neither strong impact of forest traffic on soil structure nor changes in soil structure 20–40 years after last traffic impact. In general, bulk density turned out not to be a sufficient proxy for soil structure recovery.
    Keywords: Soil Gas Diffusivity ; Soil Carbon Dioxide ; Soil Compaction ; Soil Structure Recovery ; Forestry ; Biology
    ISSN: 0378-1127
    E-ISSN: 1872-7042
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Forest Ecology and Management, 15 November 2015, Vol.356, pp.136-143
    Description: Phosphorus is an essential yet scarce macronutrient, and as such forest nutrition often relies on cycling of P between biomass and soils through litterfall and roots. For technical and soil protection reasons, modern harvesting systems create thick brash mats on skid trails by depositing residues, thus concentrating P there. What portion of this redistributed P is immobilized, lost, or recycled could be significant to forest nutrition and management. However, open questions exist regarding the quantity and fate of P deposited on skid trials. The aim of this study was to determine how much P is redistributed to skid trails and what happens to that P. We modeled the amount of P deposited on a skid trail during a whole-tree thinning of an Mill. stand, and quantified P stocks in the forest floor and mineral soil five years after the operation. An estimated 60% of harvested P from the encatchment was deposited on the skid trail. Five years after the harvest, forest floor P stocks in the skid trail dropped from an extrapolated 8.9 to 4.4 g m . The difference of 4.5 g m of P was not evident in mineral soil stocks, and loss through runoff or leaching would be minimal. With the greatest concentration of roots in the forest floor on the middle of the skid trail, mineralization and uptake of the missing P was the most likely explanation. This suggests that accumulated P on skid trails can be recycled through uptake by trees. Further testing in other stands and on which vegetation takes up accumulated P is still needed.
    Keywords: Nutrient Cycling ; Plant Uptake ; Whole-Tree Harvesting ; Brash Mats ; Allometric Modeling ; Forestry ; Biology
    ISSN: 0378-1127
    E-ISSN: 1872-7042
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Plant and Soil, 2013, Vol.370(1), pp.497-509
    Description: Aims: We analysed current carbon (C) stocks in fine root and aboveground biomass of riparian forests and influential environmental parameters on either side of a dike in the Donau-Auen National Park, Austria. Methods: On both sides of the dike, carbon (C) stock of fine roots (CFR) under four dominant tree species and of aboveground biomass (CAB) were assessed by topsoil cores (0-30 cm) and angle count sampling method respectively (n=48). C stocks were modeled, performing boosted regression trees (BRT). Results: Overall CFR was 2.8 t ha super(-1), with significantly higher C stocks in diked (DRF) compared to flooded riparian forests (FRF). In contrast to CFR, mean CAB was 123 t ha super(-1) and lower in DRF compared to FRF. However, dike construction was consistently ruled out as a predictor variable in BRT. CFR was influenced by the distance to the Danube River and the dominant tree species. CAB was mainly influenced by the magnitude of fluctuations in the groundwater table and the distances to the river and the low groundwater table. Conclusions: Despite pronounced differences in FRF and DRF, we conclude that there is only weak support that dikes directly influence C allocation in floodplain forests within the time scale considered (110 years).
    Keywords: Aboveground biomass ; Belowground biomass ; Carbon distribution ; Carbon sequestration ; Dike ; Ecosystem services ; Floodplain forest
    ISSN: 0032-079X
    E-ISSN: 1573-5036
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Forests, 01 February 2017, Vol.8(2), p.37
    Description: More intensive removal of woody biomass for the bio-economy will disrupt litter and succession cycles. Especially at risk is the retention of fine and coarse woody debris (FWD and CWD), crucial factors in forest biodiversity and nutrient cycling. However, to what extent CWD affects soil functioning remains unknown, and is seldom considered. From 32 paired test–reference points in eight Fagus sylvatica (L.) stands throughout Southwest Germany, CWD significantly increased soil C/N ratios, base saturation, and possibly pH. CWD-induced changes in soil porosity, available water capacity, and total organic carbon depended on site and CWD characteristics. As such, CWD can be viewed as a “pedogenic hot-spot” of concentrated biogeochemical and -physical processes with outsized effects on soil functioning and development. CWD management for soil functioning should consider site and tree species specific volume thresholds, timed rotations, and spatial densities, but appropriate implementation requires further research to define best management practices. If successful, overall forest resilience as well as soil functioning and productivity can be improved.
    Keywords: Soil Management ; Silviculture ; Disturbances ; Fagus Sylvatica ; Biodiversity ; Bioeconomy ; Forestry
    E-ISSN: 1999-4907
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, April 2017, Vol.180(2), pp.220-230
    Description: Standard procedures to assess P availability in soils are based on batch experiments with various extractants. However, in most soils P nutrition is less limited by bulk stocks but by strong adsorption and transport limitation. The basic principle of root‐phosphate uptake is to strip phosphate locally from the solid phase by forming a radial depletion zone in the soil solution, optionally enhanced by release of mobilizing substances. Microdialysis (MD), a well‐established method in pharmacokinetics, is capable to mimic important characteristics of P root uptake. The sampling is by diffusional exchange through a semipermeable membrane covering the probes with their sub‐mm tubular structure. Additionally, the direct environment of the probe can be chemically modified by adding, ., carboxylates to the perfusate. This study is the first approach to test the applicability of MD in assessing plant available phosphate in soils and to develop a framework for its appropriate use.We used MD in stirred solutions to quantify the effect of pumping rate, concomitant ions, and pH value on phosphate recovery. Furthermore, we measured phosphate yield of top‐soil material from a beech forest, a non‐fertilized grassland, and from a fertilized corn field. Three perfusates have been used based on a 1 mM KNO solution: pure (1), with 0.1 mM citric acid (2), and with 1 mM citric acid (3). Additionally, a radial diffusion model has been parametrized for the stirred solutions and the beech forest soil.Results from the tests in stirred solutions were in good agreement with reported observations obtained for other ionic species. This shows the principal suitability of the experimental setup for phosphate tests. We observed a significant dependency of phosphate uptake into the MD probes on dialysate pumping rate and on ionic strength of the outside solution. In the soils, we observed uptake rates of the probes between 1.5 × 10 and 6.7 × 10 mol s cm in case of no citrate addition. Surprisingly, median uptake rates were mostly independent of the bulk soil stocks, but the P‐fertilized soil revealed a strong tailing towards higher values. This indicates the occurrence of hot P spots in soils. Citrate addition increased P yields only in the higher concentration but not in the forest soil. The order of magnitude of MD uptake rates from the soil samples matched root‐length related uptake rates from other studies. The micro‐radial citrate release in MD reflects the processes controlling phosphate mobilization in the rhizosphere better than measurements based on “flooding” of soil samples with citric acid in batch experiments. Important challenges in MD with phosphate are small volumes of dialysate with extremely low concentrations and a high variability of results due to soil heterogeneity and between‐probe variability. We conclude that MD is a promising tool to complement existing P‐analytical procedures, especially when spatial aspects or the release of mobilizing substances are in focus.
    Keywords: Plant Availability ; Diffusion Limitation ; Spatial Heterogeneity ; Carboxylates
    ISSN: 1436-8730
    E-ISSN: 1522-2624
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Geomorphology, 01 June 2014, Vol.214, pp.157-167
    Description: Sediment trapping and organic carbon (OC) accretion in soil are crucial ecosystem services of floodplain forests. However, interactions between the two processes have scarcely been analyzed at the ecosystem level. This study aimed at quantifying OC accretion parameters (CAP, including sedimentation rate, OC concentration, OC accretion) over roughly the last 50 years on both sides of a dike in a Danubian floodplain forest in Austria. Additionally, we determined soil OC stocks (0–100 cm in depth) and modeled both CAP and OC stocks in relation to environmental parameters. Overall, mean sedimentation rate and OC accretion of the riparian forest were 0.8 cm y and 3.3 t OC ha y and significantly higher in flooded riparian forest (FRF; 1.0 cm y and 4.1 t OC ha y ) than in diked riparian forest (DRF; 0.3 cm y and 1.5 t OC ha y ). In contrast, mean OC concentration (0.05 t OC m ) and OC stocks (238 t OC ha ) were significantly higher in the DRF than in FRF (0.05 vs. 0.04 t OC m and 286 vs. 201 t OC ha ). Modeling revealed tree species, fluctuation of groundwater table, and the distance to the river as valuable indicators for OC accretion rate. The OC concentration and distance to the river were positively and sedimentation negatively correlated with OC stock. The dike was consistently ruled out as a significant predictor variable. Consequently, differences among FRF and DRF seem to be related rather to longer term processes during the last centuries than directly to the dike. Our findings highlight the relevance of sediment quality (i.e., OC concentration) for building up long-term soil OC stocks, whereas sediment quantity is the main driver of recent OC accretion rates.
    Keywords: Carbon Accretion Rate ; Carbon Stock ; Dendrogeomorphology ; Dike ; Floodplain Forest ; Sedimentation Rate ; Geography ; Geology
    ISSN: 0169-555X
    E-ISSN: 1872-695X
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Catena, April 2016, Vol.139, pp.9-18
    Description: Riparian woodlands consist of different landscape units characterized by different hydroecomorphological site conditions that are reflected in the distribution of soils and tree species. These conditions are determined by flooding frequency and duration, distance to river channels, elevation and water flow velocity. The influence of these environmental drivers on the stabilization of soil organic matter (SOM) has as yet not been investigated. Hence, the aim of our study is to link soil formation and its drivers with stabilizing processes of SOM in riparian floodplain forests. We investigated soils and sediments at two sites in the ash–maple–elm–oak alluvial forest zone (AMEO sites) and two sites in the willow-poplar alluvial forest zone (WiP sites) within the riparian zone of the Danube near Vienna (Austria). Sediments and soils were characterized based on texture, contents of organic carbon (OC), nitrogen, Fe oxides, and soil pH. Density fractionation was used to separate OC fractions in terms of stabilization process and resulting organic matter (OM) turnover time: the free light fraction (fast turnover), the light fraction occluded in aggregates (intermediate turnover) and the heavy fraction of OM associated tightly to mineral surfaces (slow turnover). At both sites, soil and sediment properties reflect the hydroecomorphological site conditions for formation of the landscape units in the riparian zone: Soils at AMEO sites develop during constant deposition of fine-textured sediment while water flow velocity is low. Progressing soil development causes a continuous decrease in OC content with increasing soil depth, mainly from fractions with fast and intermediate turnover. As a consequence the heavy fraction clearly dominates with around 90% of OC. Temporally variable flooding conditions with occurring turbulences found at WiP sites result in a discontinuous change of soil properties with increasing soil depth. Former topsoil horizons buried by huge amounts of sediments seem to keep the OC fractionation typical for topsoil horizons with extraordinarily high amounts of light fraction OM (free and occluded) representing 20–40% of total OC. The presented results confirm that sedimentation and soil formation are simultaneous processes at AMEO sites. At WiP sites both processes seem uncoupled with alternate phases of sedimentation and soil formation. Thus, the frequent burial of topsoil material formed at WiP sites seems to enable the conservation of unstable organic matter fractions at this part of active floodplains.
    Keywords: Fluvisol Formation ; Soil Organic Matter ; Density Fractionation ; Riparian Floodplains ; Soil Aggregates ; Riparian Forests ; Sciences (General) ; Geography ; Geology
    ISSN: 0341-8162
    E-ISSN: 1872-6887
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, February 2018, Vol.181(1), pp.31-35
    Description: Quantifying and understanding fluxes of methane (CH) and carbon dioxide (CO) in natural soil–plant–atmosphere systems are crucial to predict global climate change. Wetland herbaceous species or tree species at waterlogged sites are known to emit large amounts of CH. Upland forest soils are regarded as CH sinks and tree species like upland beech are not known to significantly emit CH. Yet, data are scarce and this assumption needs to be tested. We combined measurements of soil–atmosphere and stem–atmosphere fluxes of CO and CH and soil gas profiles to assess the contribution of the different ecosystem compartments at two upland beech forest sites in Central Europe in a case study. Soil was a net CH sink at both sites, though emissions were detected consistently from beech stems at one site. Although stem emissions from beech stems were high compared to known fluxes from other upland tree species, they were substantially lower compared to the strong CH sink of the soil. Yet, we observed extraordinarily large CH emissions from one beech tree that was 140% of the CH sink of the soil. The soil gas profile at this tree indicated CH production at a soil depth 〉 0.3 m, despite the net uptake of CH consistently observed at the soil surface. Field soil assessment showed strong redoximorphic color patterns in the adjacent soil and supports this evaluation. We hypothesize that there is a transport link between the soil and stem the root system representing a preferential transport mechanism for CH despite the fact that beech roots usually do not bear aerenchyma. The high mobility of gases requires a holistic view on the soil–plant–atmosphere system. Therefore, we recommend including field soil assessment and soil gas profiles measurements when investigating soil–atmosphere and stem–atmosphere fluxes to better understand the sources of gases and their transport mechanisms.
    Keywords: Ch 4 ; Soil Gas Profile ; Gas Flux ; Stem Gas Flux ; Co 2 ; Methanogenesis
    ISSN: 1436-8730
    E-ISSN: 1522-2624
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  • 9
    In: Environmental Microbiology, June 2016, Vol.18(6), pp.1988-2000
    Description: Phosphorus () is an important macronutrient for all biota on earth but similarly a finite resource. Microorganisms play on both sides of the fence as they effectively mineralize organic and solubilize precipitated forms of soil phosphorus but conversely also take up and immobilize . Therefore, we analysed the role of microbes in two beech forest soils with high and low content by direct sequencing of metagenomic deoxyribonucleic acid. For inorganic solubilization, a significantly higher microbial potential was detected in the ‐rich soil. This trait especially referred to  olibacter usiatus, likewise one of the dominating species in the data sets. A higher microbial potential for efficient phosphate uptake systems () was detected in the ‐depleted soil. Genes involved in starvation response regulation (, ) were prevalent in both soils. This underlines the importance of effective phosphate (ho) regulon control for microorganisms to use alternative sources during phosphate limitation. Predicted genes were primarily harboured by hizobiales, ctinomycetales and cidobacteriales.
    Keywords: Soil Microbiology – Analysis ; Nucleic Acids – Analysis ; Phosphates – Analysis ; Forest Soils – Analysis ; Soil Phosphorus – Analysis;
    ISSN: 1462-2912
    E-ISSN: 1462-2920
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, August 2016, Vol.179(4), pp.472-480
    Description: Among several environmental factors shaping soil microbial communities the impact of soil nutrients is of special interest. While continuous application mainly of N and P dramatically shifts community composition during fertilization, it remains unclear whether this effect is consistent in generic, unfertilized beech forest ecosystems of Germany, where differences in nutrient contents are mostly a result of the parental material and climatic conditions. We postulate that in such ecosystems nutrient effects are less pronounced due to the possibility of the soil microbiome to adapt to the corresponding conditions over decades and the vegetation acts as the major driver. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the bacterial community composition in five different German beech dominated forest soils, representing a natural gradient of total‐ and easily available mineral‐P. A community fingerprinting approach was performed using terminal‐Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism analysis of the 16S rRNA gene, while abundance of bacteria was measured applying quantitative real‐time PCR. Bacterial communities at the five forest sites were distinctly separated, with strongest differences between the end‐members of the P‐gradient. However the majority of identified microbial groups (43%) were present at all sites, forming a core microbiome independent from the differences in soil chemical properties. Especially in the P‐deficient soil the abundance of unique bacterial groups was highly increased, indicating a special adaption of the community to P limitation at this site. In this regard Correspondence Analysis elucidated that exclusively soil pH significantly affected community composition at the investigated sites. In contrast soil C, N and P contents did mainly affect the overall abundance of bacteria.
    Keywords: Core Microbiome ; Forest Soil ; Nutrient Content ; Diversity
    ISSN: 1436-8730
    E-ISSN: 1522-2624
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