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Altered litter inputs modify carbon and nitrogen storage in soil organic matter in a lowland tropical forest

Sayer, Emma J. and Baxendale, Catherine and Birkett, Ali J. and Brechet, Laetitia M. and Castro, Biancolini and Kerdraon, Deirdre and Lopez-Sangil, Luis and Rodtassana, Chadtip (2021). Altered litter inputs modify carbon and nitrogen storage in soil organic matter in a lowland tropical forest. Biogeochemistry. 156 , 115-130
[Research article]

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Abstract

Soil organic matter (SOM) in tropical forests is an important store of carbon (C) and nutrients. Although SOM storage could be affected by global changes via altered plant productivity, we know relatively little about SOM stabilisation and turnover in tropical forests compared to temperate systems. Here, we investigated changes in soil C and N within particle size fractions representing particulate organic matter (POM) and mineral-associated organic matter (MAOM) after 13 years of experimental litter removal (L-) and litter addition (L+) treatments in a lowland tropical forest. We hypothesized that reduced nitrogen (N) availability in L- plots would result in N-mining of MAOM, whereas long-term litter addition would increase POM, without altering the C:N ratio of SOM fractions. Overall, SOM-N declined more than SOM-C with litter removal, providing evidence of N-mining in the L- plots, which increased the soil C:N ratio. However, contrary to expectations, the C:N ratio increased most in the largest POM fraction, whereas the C:N ratio of MAOM remained unchanged. We did not observe the expected increases in POM with litter addition, which we attribute to rapid turnover of unprotected SOM. Measurements of ion exchange rates to assess changes in N availability and soil chemistry revealed that litter removal increased the mobility of ammonium-N and aluminium, whereas litter addition increased the mobility of nitrate-N and iron, which could indicate SOM priming in both treatments. Our study suggests that altered litter inputs affect multiple processes contributing to SOM storage and we propose potential mechanisms to inform future work.

Authors/Creators:Sayer, Emma J. and Baxendale, Catherine and Birkett, Ali J. and Brechet, Laetitia M. and Castro, Biancolini and Kerdraon, Deirdre and Lopez-Sangil, Luis and Rodtassana, Chadtip
Title:Altered litter inputs modify carbon and nitrogen storage in soil organic matter in a lowland tropical forest
Series Name/Journal:Biogeochemistry
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:156
Page range:115-130
Number of Pages:16
Publisher:SPRINGER
ISSN:0168-2563
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Forest Science
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Soil Science
Keywords:Soil C:N ratio, SOM fractions, Litter manipulation, Nitrogen availability, Priming, SOM storage
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-110055
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-110055
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1007/s10533-020-00747-7
Web of Science (WoS)000601505700001
ID Code:25633
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:11 Oct 2021 14:25
Metadata Last Modified:11 Oct 2021 14:31

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