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  • Lang, F.  (4)
  • Vegetation  (4)
  • Ecosystems
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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 2010, Vol.87(1), pp.11-20
    Description: Visual traces of iron reduction and oxidation are linked to the redox status of soils and have been used to characterise the quality of agricultural soils. We tested whether this feature could also be used to explain the spatial pattern of the natural vegetation of tidal habitats. If so, an easy assessment of the effect of rising sea level on tidal ecosystems would be possible. Our study was conducted at the salt marshes of the northern lagoon of Venice, which are strongly threatened by erosion and rising sea level and are part of the world heritage “Venice and its lagoon”. We analysed the abundance of plant species at 255 sampling points along a land–sea gradient. In addition, we surveyed the redox morphology (presence/absence of red iron oxide mottles in the greyish topsoil horizons) of the soils and the presence of disturbances. We used indicator species analysis, correlation trees and multivariate regression trees to analyse relations between soil properties and plant species distribution. Plant species with known sensitivity to anaerobic conditions (e.g. ) were identified as indicators for oxic soils (showing iron oxide mottles within a greyish soil matrix). Plant species that tolerate a low redox potential (e.g. ) were identified as indicators for anoxic soils (greyish matrix without oxide mottles). Correlation trees and multivariate regression trees indicate the dominant role of the redox morphology of the soils in plant species distribution. In addition, the distance from the mainland and the presence of disturbances were identified as tree-splitting variables. The small-scale variation of oxygen availability plays a key role for the biodiversity of salt marsh ecosystems. Our results suggest that the redox morphology of salt marsh soils indicates the plant availability of oxygen. Thus, the consideration of this indicator may enable an understanding of the heterogeneity of biological processes in oxygen-limited systems and may be a sensitive and easy-to-use tool to assess human impacts on salt marsh ecosystems.
    Keywords: Coastal Wetlands ; Iron Oxides ; Halophyte Ecology ; Regression Trees ; Indicator Species Analysis ; Classification of Marsh Soils ; Biology ; Oceanography
    ISSN: 0272-7714
    E-ISSN: 1096-0015
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  • 2
    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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  • 3
    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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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, October 2010, Vol.173(5), pp.644-653
    Description: Riparian forests are assumed to play a crucial role in the global carbon cycle. However, little data are available on C stocks of floodplains in comparison to other terrestrial ecosystems. In this study, we quantified the C stocks of aboveground biomass and soils of riparian vegetation types at 76 sampling sites in the Donau‐Auen National Park in Austria. Based on our results and a remotely sensed vegetation map, we estimated total C stocks. Carbon stocks in soils (up to 354 t ha within 1 m below surface) were huge compared to other terrestrial ecosystems. As expected, soils of different vegetation types showed different texture with a higher percentage of sandy soils at the softwood sites, while loamy soils prevailed at hardwood sites. Total C stocks of vegetation types were significantly different, but reflect differences in woody plant biomass rather than in soil C stocks. Mature hardwood and cottonwood forests proved to have significantly higher total C stocks (474 and 403 t ha, respectively) than young reforestations (217 t ha) and meadows (212 t ha). The C pools of softwood forests (356 t ha) ranged between those of hardwood/cottonwood forests and of reforestations/meadows. Our study proves the relevance of floodplains as possible C sinks, which should be increasingly taken into account for river management. Furthermore, we conclude that plant‐species distribution does not indicate the conditions of sedimentation and soil C sequestration over the time span of interest for the development of soil C stocks.
    Keywords: Carbon Stocks ; Organic Carbon ; Donau‐Auen National Park ; Fluvial Ecosystems ; Riparian Forest
    ISSN: 1436-8730
    E-ISSN: 1522-2624
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