Geoderma, 15 February 2017, Vol.288, pp.204-212
Deadwood is a key factor in forest ecosystems, yet how it influences forest soil properties is uncertain. We hypothesized that changes in soil properties induced by deadwood mainly depend on the amount of released phenolic matter. Consequently we expected softwood- and hardwood-related deadwood effects on soil to be explained by unequal enrichment of phenolic substances. We measured differences in the quantity and composition of soil organic matter (SOM), pH, nutrient concentrations, and enzymatic activity between paired control and treatment points influenced by deadwood of silver fir ( Mill.) and European beech ( L.), and checked for correlations with total C and phenolic matter; the latter was quantified as aromaticity of water-extractable organic C through specific UV absorbance at 280 nm. Near fir deadwood, aromaticity and effective cation exchange capacity (CEC) increased while pH decreased. In comparison, concentrations of water-extractable organic C, effective CEC, exchangeable Ca and Mg , base saturation, and available molybdenum-reactive P increased near beech deadwood while exchangeable Al decreased. For fir deadwood, soil properties strongly correlated almost exclusively with total C. For beech deadwood, numerous strong correlations with aromaticity indicated that extractable phenolics influenced soil properties. These differences in correlations imply that deadwood affects soil through the composition of added phenolic matter, which would stem from differing decay processes and organisms. Decayed, particulate lignin from brown-rot in fir deadwood as opposed to oxidized, dissolved lignin from white-rot in beech deadwood would account for our observations.
Coarse Woody Debris ; Soil Chemistry ; Lignin ; Brown-Rot Fungi ; White-Rot Fungi ; Agriculture
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