Linkage of fine and coarse litter traits to soil microbial characteristics and nitrogen mineralization across topographic positions in a temperate natural forest

Tomohiro Yokobe, Fujio Hyodo, Ryunosuke Tateno, Naoko Tokuchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aims: Topographic positions within a natural forest can considerably influence litter traits, soil microbial characteristics, and nitrogen (N) mineralization, causing plant–soil feedbacks. Despite the high abundance of coarse litter (woody debris and coarse roots) in forest ecosystems, most studies have focused on linkages between fine litter (leaves and fine roots) and N dynamics and/or the soil microbial community. Methods: We investigated the association of fine and coarse litter with soil microbial biomass, community structure, and N mineralization at upper and lower slope positions on sedimentary rocks in a temperate forest dominated by Fagus crenata. Results: Greater coarse litter abundance and litter C-to-N ratio, and lower soil microbial biomass, bacterial abundance, and N mineralization potential were found in upper positions than in lower positions. Among litter traits, coarse litter abundance and litter C-to-N ratio were the best predictors of the microbial biomass and fungal-to-bacterial dominance, possibly due to differences in climatic stress among plant communities. Microbial traits were the best predictors of N mineralization potential. Conclusions: Fine litter traits and coarse litter abundance are likely linked to soil microbial characteristics and N mineralization in natural forests with variable topography.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPlant and Soil
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Bacteria
  • Coarse litter
  • Fungi
  • Microbial biomass
  • Nitrogen mineralization
  • Topography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science

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