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A comparison of C:N:P stoichiometry in soil and deadwood at an advanced decomposition stage

Piaszczyk, Wojciech, Błońska, Ewa, Lasota, Jarosław, Lukac, Martin
Catena 2019 v.179 pp. 1-5
carbon, dead wood, humus, nitrogen, organic soils, phosphorus, stoichiometry, trees
The aim of this study is to compare the C/N/P stoichiometry of deadwood among four tree species at different stages of decomposition. The way in which the relative concentrations of these elements in the soil are directly impacted by deadwood decomposition is also explored. First, hornbeam, alder, aspen and fir logs in different decomposition stages (III, IV and V) were selected and sampled. Second, the concentration and stoichiometry of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous were established. Marked differences in C/N/P stoichiometry were observed between deadwood in an advanced decomposition stage and the soil immediately under the log. The average C/N/P ratio of soil under the influence of deadwood was narrower compared to the C/N/P ratio of deadwood. The C/N/P ratio of studied soils was similar to the expected C/N/P ratio of organic soils or humus. The results indicate that stage of decomposition and tree species have an impact on the elemental stoichiometry of the soil. Thus, C/N/P stoichiometry is a useful indicator of the intensity of nutrient flux from deadwood to the soil.