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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2015

Manganese in the litter fall-forest floor continuum of boreal and temperate pine and spruce forest ecosystems - A review

Berg, Björn; Erhagen, Björn; Johansson, Maj-Britt; Nilsson, Mats; Stendahl, Johan; Trum, Florence; Vesterdal, Lars


We have reviewed the literature on the role of manganese (Mn) in the litter fall-to-humus subsystem. Available data gives a focus on North European coniferous forests.Manganese concentrations in pine (Pinus spp.) foliar litter are highly variable both spatially and temporally within the same litter species and for the genus Pinus we found a range from 0.03 to 3.7 mg g(-1). Concentrations were related negatively to site mean annual temperature (MAT) and annual actual evapotranspiration (AET) for pine species litter but not for that of Norway spruce (Picea abies) as a single species. Combined data for several species showed a highly significant relationship to MAT.Manganese peroxidase is an Mn-dependent enzyme, found in white-rot fungi, essential for the degradation of lignin and ligninlike compounds. The decomposition rates of lignified litter tissue (late phase) is positively related to the litter's Mn concentration. Further, the Mn concentration is positively related to the limit value for decomposition - the higher the Mn concentration the smaller the stable litter fraction.Manganese release from decomposing litter appears at least in part to be species related. Thus was release from pine needle litter significantly faster (p < 0.001) than that from the Mn-richer litter of Norway spruce.Over Northern Europe concentrations of total Mn in mor humus as well as extractable Mn in the mineral soil increase with decreasing MAT and over a climatic gradient the Mn concentrations in Norway spruce mor increase more with decreasing MAT than in a gradient with Scots pine.Higher Mn concentrations in humus appear to decrease its stability and result in a higher release of carbon dioxide (CO2) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). We conclude that this may explain (i) the lower amount of carbon (C) in mor layers under Norway spruce as compared to Scots pine as well as the higher amount of C in mineral soil under spruce. The increase in nitrogen (N) concentration in humus, following N fertilization resulted in a decrease in that of Mn.We have found four cases - empirical - with negative interaction between Mn and N; (i) in pine foliar litter fall concentrations of Mn decrease with site MAT whereas those of N increase, (ii) in decomposing late-stage litter with N retarding and Mn stimulating decomposition, (iii) for the stable phase, limit values are related negatively to N and positively to Mn, and (iv) Mn concentrations in humus decrease with MAT whereas those of N increase. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Review; Humus; Climate; Gradient; Scots pine; Norway spruce; Coniferous

Published in

Forest Ecology and Management
2015, volume: 358, pages: 248-260
Publisher: Elsevier

Authors' information

Berg, Björn
University of Helsinki
Erhagen, Björn
Umeå University
Johansson, Maj-Britt
University of Gävle
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Ecology and Management
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil and Environment
Trum, Florence
Catholic University of Louvain
Vesterdal, Lars
University of Copenhagen

UKÄ Subject classification

Forest Science

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