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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2011

Dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen leaching from Scots pine, Norway spruce and silver birch stands in southern Sweden

Fröberg, Mats; Hansson, Karna; Berggren Kleja, Dan; Alavi, Ghasem


The effects of three common tree species - Scots pine, Norway spruce and silver birch - on leaching of dissolved organic carbon and dissolved nitrogen were studied in an experimental forest with podzolised soils in southern Sweden. We analyzed soil water collected with lysimeters and modeled water fluxes to estimate dissolved C and N fluxes. Specific UV absorbance (SUVA) was analyzed to get information about the quality of dissolved organic matter leached from the different stands. Under the O horizon, DOC concentrations and fluxes in the birch stands were lower than in the spruce and pine stands; annual fluxes were 21 g m(-2) y(-1) for birch and 38 g m(-2) y(-1) and 37 g C m(-2) y(-1) for spruce and pine, respectively. Under the B horizon, annual fluxes for all tree species ranged between 3 and 5 g C m(-2) y(-1), implying greater loss of DOC in the mineral soil in the coniferous stands than in the birch stands. We did not find any effect of tree species on the quality of the dissolved organic matter, as measured by SUVA, indicating that the chemical composition of the organic matter was similar in leachates from all three tree species. Substantial amounts of nitrogen was leached out of the soil profile at the bottom of the B horizon from the pine and birch stands, whereas the spruce stands seemed to retain most of the nitrogen in the soil. These differences in N leaching have implications for soil N budgets. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Dissolved organic matter; Tree species; Dissolved organic carbon; Forest soil; Nitrogen; DOC quality

Published in

Forest Ecology and Management
2011, Volume: 262, number: 9, pages: 1742-1747