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Throughfall reduction diminished the enhancing effect of N addition on soil N leaching loss in an old, temperate forest

Geng, Shicong, Chen, Zhijie, Ma, Shanshan, Feng, Yue, Zhang, Lei, Zhang, Junhui, Han, Shijie
Environmental pollution 2020 v.261 pp. 114090
Pinus koraiensis, ammonium nitrate, coniferous forests, dissolved organic nitrogen, drought, field experimentation, forest ecosystems, global change, leaching, lysimeters, rain, soil, temperate forests, throughfall
Soil nitrogen (N) leaching is recognized to have negative effects on the environment. There is a lack of studies on different simultaneously occurring drivers of environmental change, including changing rainfall and N deposition, on soil N leaching. In this study, a two factorial field experiment was conducted in a Korean pine forest with the following four treatments: 30% of throughfall reduction (TR), 50 kg N ha⁻¹ yr⁻¹ of N addition (N+), throughfall reduction plus N addition (TRN+) and natural forest (CK). The zero-tension pan lysimeter method was used to assess the response of soil N leaching loss to manipulated N addition and throughfall reduction. The results showed that the soil N leaching loss in natural forest was 5.0 ± 0.4 kg N ha⁻¹yr⁻¹, of which dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) accounted for 48%. Compared to natural forest, six years of N addition (NH₄NO₃, 50 kg N ha⁻¹ year⁻¹) significantly (P < 0.05) increased soil N leaching losses by 122%, especially in the form of NO₃⁻; a 30% reduction in throughfall slightly decreased N leaching losses by 23%; in combination, N addition and throughfall reduction increased N leaching losses by 48%. There was a strong interaction between N addition and throughfall reduction, which decreased N leaching loss by approximately 2.5 kg N ha⁻¹ yr⁻¹. Our results indicated that drought would diminish the enhancing effect of N deposition on soil N leaching. These findings highlight the importance of incorporating both N deposition and precipitation and their impacts on soil N leaching into future N budget assessments of forest ecosystems under global environmental change.