|Park, J-H; Kalbitz, K; Matzner, E: Resource control on the production of dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen in a decidous forest floor, Soil Biology Biochemistry, 34, 813-822 (2002)|
The forest floor in temperate forests has become recognized for its importance in the retention of elevated inputs of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) and as a source of dissolved organic matter (DOM). A laboratory leaching experiment was conducted over the period of 98 d to examine the origin of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nitrogen (DON) in a deciduous forest floor, and the effect of resource availability and microbial activity on the production mechanisms involved. The experiment was composed of different types of treatments: exclusion of specific forest floor layers (no Oi, no Oe) and addition of carbon sources (glucose, cellulose, leaf, wood) and NH4NO3 (nitrogen). The cumulative amount of CO2 evolution was positively related to the availability of C sources at each treatment: glucose>leaf=wood=cellulose>control=no Oe=nitrogen>no Oi. DOC release was related to the amount of C sources but showed no clear correlation with CO2 evolution. An increase in C availability generally led to a reduction in the release of DON as well as DIN. In contrast, the amendment of NH4NO3 reduced the cumulative DOC release but enhanced the release of both DON and DIN. Fresh leaf litter was a more important DOC source than labile substrates (glucose and cellulose) as well as more stable substrates (forest floor materials and wood). Among forest floor layers, more humified horizons (Oe and Oa) were the primary source of DIN and made a similar contribution to DOM release as the Oi layer. The changes in DOM composition detected by a humification index of the leachates, in combination with a shift in the final microbial biomass C, suggested that DOM released from the soluble pools of added litter or the Oi layer contained a substantial amount of microbially processed organic matter. Our study demonstrated the importance of C availability in regulating microbial activity and immobilization of dissolved N in an N-enriched forest floor. However, the discrepancy between substrate lability and DOC production, in combination with a rapid microbial processing of DOC released from labile C pools, illustrated the complicated nature of microbial production and consumption of DOC in the forest floor.
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