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Hydrochemical Fluxes in Bulk Precipitation, Throughfall, and Stemflow in a Mixed Evergreen and Deciduous Broadleaved Forest

Su, Lei, Zhao, Changming, Xu, Wenting, Xie, Zongqiang
Forests 2019 v.10 no.6
ammonium nitrogen, bark, biogeochemical cycles, canopy, climate change, deciduous forests, forest ecosystems, growing season, hydrochemistry, nitrate nitrogen, nutrient balance, nutrient content, rain, stemflow, throughfall, trees, China
Rainfall is one of the primary sources of chemical inputs in forest ecosystems, and the basis of forest nutrient cycling. Mixed evergreen and deciduous broadleaved forests are currently one of the most threatened ecosystems due to their sensitivity to anthropogenic climate change. As such, understanding the hydrochemical fluxes of these systems is critical for managing their dynamics in the future. We investigate the chemistry of bulk precipitation, stemflow and throughfall in a mixed evergreen and deciduous broadleaved forest in the Shennongjia region of Central China. Mean nutrient concentrations in throughfall and stemflow were higher than in bulk precipitation. Stemflow ion fluxes from deciduous tree species were greater than those for evergreen tree species because of the differences in bark morphology and branch architecture. Throughfall and stemflow chemistry fluctuated dramatically over the growing season. Nitrate nitrogen and ammonium nitrogen were retained, while other elements and compounds were washed off or leached via throughfall and stemflow pathways. Our findings will facilitate a greater understanding of nutrient balance in canopy water fluxes.