The Influence of Forest Management and Changed Hydrology on Soil Biochemical Properties in a Central-European Floodplain Forest
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Anthropogenic modifications to water regimes are one of the main factors threatening the stability and existence of floodplain forests. This study presents an analysis of topsoil biogeochemistry within three floodplain forest stands with different levels of human alteration. Decreasing contents of soil organic carbon (OC) and microbial biomass were observed along the gradient from natural to plantation forest. High annual variations were observed in soil N contents and in microbial biomass, while comparable spatial variations were observed within the natural forest. High ground-water levels resulted in increased accumulation of available Na+ and SO42- in the natural forest soil, yet the concentrations of ions were at sub-saline levels. The increasing contents of available Mn, SO42- or Cl- had mostly positive effects on soil microbial activity across the sites, though the results indicate the existence of a certain ecological limit for soil microorganisms. Reintroduction of surface-water flooding should be considered in future forest and water management to promote the dilution of ions accumulated in soils and natural deposition of sediments rich in organic matter (OM) at the sites.
Keywordsground-water, soil carbon, microbial activity, microbial biomass, sulfates, manganese, iron, C, N, salinization, climate change
Document typePeer reviewed
Document versionFinal PDF
SourceForests. 2021, vol. 12, issue 3, p. 270-270.