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Effects of tree species and topography on soil and microbial biomass stoichiometry in Funiu Mountain, China.

BMC Ecology 2020 December 10
BACKGROUND: Soil and microbial biomass stoichiometry plays an important role in understanding nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. However, studies on soil and microbial biomass stoichiometry in forests are rare. This study investigated the effect of tree species and topographic factors on the ecological stoichiometry of soil and soil microbial biomass.

METHODS: Three types of forest stands (Quercus variabilis, Larix principis-ruprechtii, and Cotinus coggygria Scop.) in the Beiru River basin of Funiu Mountain were analyzed in September 2018. Six slope positions (sunny bottom slope, sunny middle slope, sunny top slope, shady bottom slope, shady middle slope, and shady top slope) were selected, and the total number of sampling plots was 108. The stoichiometric indices of soil and microbial biomass were determined.

RESULTS: At a depth of 0-10 cm, the soil organic C contents in different stands followed the order of C. coggygria (27.7 ± 5.2 g/kg) > Q. variabilis (24.5 ± 4.9 g/kg) > L. principis-ruprechtii (20.8 ± 4.3 g/kg) (P < 0.05). The soil organic C contents at depths of 0-10 cm with different slope aspects and at different slope positions also showed significant differences (P < 0.05). The highest MBC content was observed at the slope bottom (1002 ± 157 mg/kg), whereas the lowest was observed at the slope top (641 ± 98.3 mg/kg). Redundancy analysis showed that the contribution of tree species to these differences was 57.1%, whereas that of topographical factors was 36.2%.

CONCLUSIONS: Tree species more significantly affected soil nutrients and microbial biomass C, N and P than did topographic factors.

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