Schmidt, BHM; Wang, C-P; Chang, S-C; Matzner, E: High precipitation causes large fluxes of dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen in a subtropical montane Chamaecyparis forest in Taiwan, Biogeochemistry, 101, 243-256 (2010), doi:DOI: 10.1007/s10533-010-9470-1
Fluxes of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nitrogen (DON) may play an important role for losses of C and N from the soils of forest ecosystems, especially under conditions of high precipitation. We studied DOC and DON fluxes and concentrations in relation to precipitation intensity in a subtropical montane Chamaecyparis obtusa var. formosana forest in Taiwan. Our objective was, to quantify DOC and DON fluxes and to understand the role of high precipitation for DOC and DON export in this ecosystem. From 2005 to 2008 we sampled bulk precipitation, throughfall, forest floor percolates and seepage (60 cm) and analyzed DOC, DON and mineral N concentrations. Average DOC fluxes in the soil were extremely high (962 and 478 kg C ha−1 year−1 in forest floor percolates and seepage, respectively) while DON fluxes were similar to other (sub)tropical ecosystems (16 and 8 kg N ha−1 year−1, respectively). Total N fluxes in the soil were dominated by DON. Dissolved organic C and N concentrations in forest floor percolates were independent of the water flux. No dilution effect was visible. Instead, the pool size of potentially soluble DOC and DON was variable as indicated by different DOC and DON concentrations in forest floor percolates at similar precipitation amounts. Therefore, we hypothesized, that these pools are not likely to be depleted in the long term. The relationship between water fluxes in bulk precipitation and DOC and DON fluxes in forest floor percolates was positive (DOC r = 0.908, DON r = 0.842, respectively, Spearman rank correlation). We concluded, that precipitation is an important driver for DOC and DON losses from this subtropical montane forest and that these DOC losses play an important role in the soil C cycle of this ecosystem. Moreover, we found that the linear relationship between bulk precipitation and DOC and DON fluxes in forest floor percolates of temperate ecosystems does not hold when incorporating additional data on these fluxes from (subtropical) ecosystems.
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