Soil phosphorus supply controls P nutrition strategies of beech forest ecosystems in Central Europe
Bünemann, Else K.
Von Wilpert, K.
Dietrich, Hans P.
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Phosphorus availability may shape plant–microorganism–soil interactions in forest ecosystems. Our aim was to quantify the interactions between soil P availability and P nutrition strategies of European beech (Fagus sylvatica) forests. We assumed that plants and microorganisms of P-rich forests carry over mineral-bound P into the biogeochemical P cycle (acquiring strategy). In contrast, P-poor ecosystems establish tight P cycles to sustain their P demand (recycling strategy). We tested if this conceptual model on supply-controlled P nutrition strategies was consistent with data from five European beech forest ecosystems with different parent materials (geosequence), covering a wide range of total soil P stocks (160–900 g P m−2; <1 m depth). We analyzed numerous soil chemical and biological properties. Especially P-rich beech ecosystems accumulated P in topsoil horizons in moderately labile forms. Forest floor turnover rates decreased with decreasing total P stocks (from 1/5 to 1/40 per year) while ratios between organic carbon and organic phosphorus (C:Porg) increased from 110 to 984 (A horizons). High proportions of fine-root biomass in forest floors seemed to favor tight P recycling. Phosphorus in fine-root biomass increased relative to microbial P with decreasing P stocks. Concomitantly, phosphodiesterase activity decreased, which might explain increasing proportions of diester-P remaining in the soil organic matter. With decreasing P supply indicator values for P acquisition decreased and those for recycling increased, implying adjustment of plant–microorganism–soil feedbacks to soil P availability. Intense recycling improves the P use efficiency of beech forests. Show more
Journal / seriesBiogeochemistry
Pages / Article No.
SubjectForest ecosystem nutrition; P geosequence; P acquiring; P-recycling
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