Local basal area affects needle litterfall nutrient concentration and nutrient release during decomposition in Pinus halepensis Mill. plantations in Spain

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Bueis, T Bravo, F Pando, V Turrión, M.B (2018) - Local basal area affects needle litterfall nutrient concentration and nutrient release during decomposition in Pinus halepensis Mill. plantations in Spain - Annals of Forest Science

Nutrient concentration in needle litterfall and nutrient release during litter decomposition were studied in four stands of Pinus halepensis Mill. in Spain for two years. Eight plots were established on each stand covering the widest range in local basal area present in the stands. Therefore, 32 plots were studied. A littertrap and 15 litterbags were placed in the center of each plot. Litterfall was collected from the littertraps on a monthly basis and a litterbag was taken from each plot on a quarterly basis during two years. Needle litterfall and litter contained in the litterbags were analyzed for C, N, Ca, K, Mg, P, S, Fe, Cu, Mn and Zn. A clear seasonal pattern was observed for C, N, Mg, K, P, S, Cu and Zn in the needle fraction of litterfall probably related to senescence process. A significant and positive effect of local basal area on C, K and Mg concentrations in needle litterfall was found. Regarding the nutrient release of litter contained in the litterbags, different trends were observed for the nutrients studied. Carbon, K, Mg and Mn presented a continuous net release pattern for the two years studied. However, Fe or Cu showed a net immobilization pattern and N, Ca, P or Zn presented an erratic trend, alternating periods of nutrient release and periods of nutrient immobilization. Local basal area was significantly correlated to mineral topsoil humidity (negative correlation) and a significant and negative effect of local basal area on the release of the nutrients studied (but Fe and Mn) was observed. 

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10.1007/s13595-018-0699-5

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