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The effect of vegetation change in C and N contents in litter and soil organic fractions of a Northern Iran temperate forest

Kooch, Yahya, Sanji, Razie, Tabari, Masoud
Catena 2019 v.178 pp. 32-39
Pinus, aggregate stability, carbon nitrogen ratio, carbon sequestration, forest land, global warming, nitrogen content, plantations, soil aggregation, soil organic matter, soil sampling, temperate forests, temperate zones, Iran
The properties of litter and soil, which are probably influenced by vegetation traits, have an effect on the fractions of C and N and ultimately global warming. In this study, litter and soil samples were collected from representative forestlands, including a mixed natural forest dominated by hornbeam‑ironwood and tree plantations of ash, maple, cypress and pine which are situated in a temperate area of Northern Iran. Main litter characteristics, soil aggregation and fractions of C and N were studied. Pine had the highest values of litter thickness (14.46 cm), C (60.31%) and C/N ratio (81.77 and 20.28 for litter and soil, respectively). However, litter N (2.20%), micro aggregates of total soil (39.75%), aggregate stability (73.86%) and macro aggregates of total soil (54.87%) were found significantly higher under the natural stands. Total C (2.58%), C in macro and micro aggregates (0.31 and 0.33 respectively), POM-C (4. 68 g/kg), DOC (125.54 mg/kg) and C sequestration (45.34 Mg/ha) were considerably higher under pine (for POM-C, pine ≈ cypress) and the greater values of total N (0.34%), N in macro and micro aggregates (0.10 and 0.08 respectively), POM-N (0.47 g/kg), DON (33.80 mg/kg) and N sequestration (6.86 Mg/ha) were observed under natural stands. Under our conditions, conversion of natural forest is due to reduction of soil N fractions and C increased under pine tree plantations.