Title

Divergent responses of soil buffering capacity to long-term N deposition in three typical tropical forests with different land-use history.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2015

Abstract

Elevated anthropogenic nitrogen (N) deposition has become an important driver of soil acidification at both regional and global scales. It remains unclear, however, how long-term N deposition affects soil buffering capacity in tropical forest ecosystems and in ecosystems of contrasting land-use history. Here, we expand on a long-term N deposition experiment in three tropical forests that vary in land-use history (primary, secondary, and planted forests) in Southern China, with N addition as NH4NO3 of 0, 50, 100, and 150 kg N ha−1 yr−1, respectively. Results showed that all three forests were acid-sensitive ecosystems with poor soil buffering capacity, while the primary forest had higher base saturation and cation exchange capacity than others. However, long-term N addition significantly accelerated soil acidification and decreased soil buffering capacity in the primary forest, but not in the degraded secondary and planted forests. We suggest that ecosystem N status, influenced by different land-use history, is primarily responsible for these divergent responses. N-rich primary forests may be more sensitive to external N inputs than others with low N status, and should be given more attention under global changes in the future, because lack of nutrient cations is irreversible.

Comments

Copyright © 2015 American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.

doi: 10.1021/es5047233