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Faculty for Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences

Department Soil Ecology - Prof. Dr. Eva Lehndorff

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Chang, S-C: The effect of stemflow on element fluxes and soil nitrogen transformations in a mixed beech/oak stand in the Steigerwald, Germany in Bayreuther Institut für Terrestrische Ökosystemforschung (BITÖK): Bayreuther Forum Ökologie, Selbstverlag, 72, 1-107 (1999)
Stemflow of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) has often been reported to represent a significant input of water and elements to the soil. The proximal stem area receiving large amounts of input thus exhibited different characteristics as compared to the distal stem area and has often been considered as a highly polluted micro-ecosystem. However, a quantification of the effect of stemflow on the see-page fluxes and on the element budgets has not yet been done in a European beech stand. The influence of stemflow on the spatial heterogeneity of soil nitrogen-transformations is also still unclear. The goal of this study was thus, to examine the following hypotheses: 1. Stemflow of European beech has higher concentrations of elements than throughfall and accounts for a significant pro-portion of net precipitation. 2. Stemflow results in different soil physicochemical properties and soil solution chemistry in the proximal stem area. 3. The proximal stem area has a significant influence on water and element budgets. 4. The soil nitrogen transformation rates in the proximal stem area are different from those in the distal stem area. The results of this study confirm the concept of a microsite around beech stems, characterized by high element and water fluxes in comparison to distal stem areas. Calculations of see-page fluxes and element budgets in beech stands have to consider the spatial-heterogeneity of fluxes induced by stemflow.
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