Soil Nutrient Cycling and Microbial Dynamics in Forests

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Soil".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 4396

Special Issue Editors

College of Forestry, Jiangxi Agricultural University, Nanchang 330045, China
Interests: plant–soil interaction; forest ecology; forest management
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Guest Editor
College of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Yunnan University, Kunming 650500, China
Interests: carbon cycle; N deposition; plant–soil interaction; soil biology and function
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Guest Editor
College of Geography and Oceanography, Minjiang University, Fuzhou 350108, China
Interests: forest ecology; climate change; silicon cycle; carnon cycle; plant–soil interaction
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In terrestrial ecosystems, forests cover an estimated 4.1 billion hectares and store up to 56% of both above- and below-ground terrestrial carbon; thus, they come to play an important role in maintaining ecosystem structure and driving ecosystem function. The circulation of soil mineral nutrients, which is primarily driven by soil microorganisms, supports the growth, regeneration and productivity of forests. In recent years, the scientific community has learned about the turnover of key mineral nutrients between plants and soil and its microbial-driven mechanisms. However, there are still some gaps in our understanding of how soil nutrients and microbial communities affect processes and functions in global forest ecosystems. For example, the roles of stoichiometric properties, the biotic link between above-ground plants and below-ground microbes, and the interactions between macro- and micro-nutrients in growth and carbon sequestration need more study, especially in the background of global climate and human disturbance. We encourage researchers to submit studies on soil nutrient cycling and related microbial mechanisms in forest ecosystems, including case studies, meta-analysis studies, and model studies, to this Special Issue to promote knowledge and management strategies of forest ecosystems.

Dr. Songze Wan
Prof. Dr. Jianping Wu
Dr. Shaofei Jin
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • soil nutrients
  • soil microbes
  • soil–food web
  • soil function
  • soil water
  • climate change
  • forest management practice
  • decomposition

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 1871 KiB  
Article
Phosphorus Rather than Nitrogen Addition Changed Soil Cyanobacterial Community in a Tropical Secondary Forest of South China
by Xiangbo Zou, Xinyu Jiang, Chuangting Chen, Cao Kuang, Ji Ye, Shiwei Qin, Jiong Cheng, Guangli Liu, Faming Wang and Shiqin Yu
Forests 2023, 14(11), 2216; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14112216 - 09 Nov 2023
Viewed by 760
Abstract
Soil cyanobacteria in tropical forests is understudied despite its important role in soil biochemical process and plant growth. Under a nitrogen (N) deposition background in tropical forests, it is important to learn how soil cyanobacterial communities respond to N deposition and whether phosphorus [...] Read more.
Soil cyanobacteria in tropical forests is understudied despite its important role in soil biochemical process and plant growth. Under a nitrogen (N) deposition background in tropical forests, it is important to learn how soil cyanobacterial communities respond to N deposition and whether phosphorus (P) mediated this response. A fully two-factor (N and P additions) factorial design with four blocks (replicates), each including a 12 × 12 m plot per treatment (Control, +N, +P, and +NP) were established in a tropical secondary forest in 2009. In July of 2022, soil cyanobacteria at 0–10 cm and 10–20 cm depths in the experimental site were collected and analyzed using a metagenomic method. The impact of N and P additions on soil cyanobacteria remained consistent across the different soil depths, even though there was a significant contrast between the two layers. The effect of N addition on soil cyanobacteria did not significantly interact with P addition. N addition increased soil N availability and decreased soil pH but did not significantly affect the soil cyanobacterial community. In contrast, P addition increased soil P availability and soil pH, but decreased soil N availability and substantially changed the soil cyanobacterial community. P addition significantly decreased the abundance of soil cyanobacteria, especially abundant ones. P addition also increased cyanobacterial species richness and Shannon’s diversity, which might be explained by the decline in dominant species and the emergence of new species as nestedness and indicator species analyses suggest. We concluded that (1) soil cyanobacteria in tropical forests exhibits a greater sensitivity to elevated P availability compared to N; (2) an increase in soil P supply may mitigate the advantage held by dominant species, thus facilitating the growth of other species and leading to alterations in the soil cyanobacterial community. This study improves our understanding on how soil cyanobacterial communities in tropical forest responds to N and P addition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Nutrient Cycling and Microbial Dynamics in Forests)
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12 pages, 2719 KiB  
Article
Soil Nutrient Availability Regulates Microbial Community Composition and Enzymatic Activities at Different Soil Depths along an Elevation Gradient in the Nanling Nature Reserve, China
by Mengyun Liu, Fangfang Huang, Yuhui Huang, Xianhua Gan, Yifan Li and Min Wang
Forests 2023, 14(8), 1514; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14081514 - 25 Jul 2023
Viewed by 815
Abstract
Improving our understanding of how soil microbial community composition and enzyme activities vary with elevation will elucidate the impact of climate change on ecosystem function. We collected soil samples at three elevations (1000 m, 1200 m, 1400 m) from two soil depths in [...] Read more.
Improving our understanding of how soil microbial community composition and enzyme activities vary with elevation will elucidate the impact of climate change on ecosystem function. We collected soil samples at three elevations (1000 m, 1200 m, 1400 m) from two soil depths in a subtropical forest in the Nanling Nature Reserve to analyze soil nutrient availability and the Gram-positive (GP) to Gram-negative (GN) bacteria ratio. We conducted a vector analysis of soil enzymatic stoichiometry to examine the spatial distribution of soil microbial C, N, and P limitations. The soil C:N ratio decreased with increasing elevation. The GP:GN ratio and vector length (read-outs of relative C versus nutrient limitation) were the highest at 1400 m due to lower C availability. At an elevation of 1200 m, lower P availability was reflected in higher soil C:P and N:P ratios and lower GP:GN ratios, as lower P availability suppressed microbial C decomposition. Furthermore, the GP:GN ratio and vector length showed contrasting responses to variations in soil depth. The validation of enzyme vector analysis to capture the responses of microbial community composition to soil properties is dependent on environmental conditions and should be considered in the development of future soil organic C (SOC) dynamics models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Nutrient Cycling and Microbial Dynamics in Forests)
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13 pages, 3376 KiB  
Article
Ecoenzymatic Stoichiometry in the Rhizosphere and Bulk Soil of a Larix principis-rupprechtii Plantation in North China
by Liu Yang, Yanlong Jia, Qianru Li, Hongna Cui, Jinping Lu, Jiaojiao Ma and Zhongqi Xu
Forests 2023, 14(7), 1315; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14071315 - 27 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1063
Abstract
Soil extracellular enzymes play an important role in ecosystem energy conversion and material cycling. Ecoenzymatic stoichiometry can reflect the relationship between the soil’s microbial nutrient cycle and nutrient limitation. However, there have been few studies on the differences in ecoenzymatic stoichiometry and nutrient [...] Read more.
Soil extracellular enzymes play an important role in ecosystem energy conversion and material cycling. Ecoenzymatic stoichiometry can reflect the relationship between the soil’s microbial nutrient cycle and nutrient limitation. However, there have been few studies on the differences in ecoenzymatic stoichiometry and nutrient limitation between rhizosphere soil and bulk soil. This study examined soil nutrients and enzyme activities in rhizosphere soil and bulk soil in a Larix principis-rupprechtii plantation in north China. The results showed that the levels of soil organic carbon (C), total nitrogen (N), and available nutrients in the rhizosphere soil were significantly higher than those in the bulk soil, whereas the total potassium (TK) level was significantly lower. The soil C:N, C:P, and N:P ratios of the rhizosphere soil also exceeded those of the bulk soil. The acid phosphatase (ACP), urease (UE), and β-glucosidase (β-GC) activities in the rhizosphere soil exceeded those in the bulk soil, whereas the activities of N-acetyl-β-D-glucosidase (NAG), aminopeptidase (LAP), and nitrogenase (NA) were lower. The ratios of C, N, and P acquisition activities changed from 1:1.7:1 in the rhizosphere soil to 1:2:1 in the bulk soil. Redundancy analysis showed that the available K and soil water content in the rhizosphere soil were the most important soil factors affecting soil enzyme activities and ecoenzymatic stoichiometry; those in the bulk soil were soil N:P and soil water content. These results suggest that not all soil enzyme activities present rhizosphere effects and that bulk soil is more susceptible to N limitation in Larix principis-rupprechtii plantations. Plant roots play an important role in regulating soil nutrients and soil activities, and future studies should examine the underlying mechanisms in more detail. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Nutrient Cycling and Microbial Dynamics in Forests)
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17 pages, 1477 KiB  
Article
Harvest Residue Decomposition from Eucalyptus sp. Plantations in Temperate Climate: Indicators and Contribution to Nutrient Cycling
by Alejandro González, Jorge Hernández, Amabelia del Pino, Andrés Hirigoyen and José Ualde
Forests 2023, 14(6), 1119; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14061119 - 28 May 2023
Viewed by 1376
Abstract
The sustainable management of forest plantations by keeping the harvest residues on site improves the soil’s chemical, physical and biological properties while constituting an important nutrient reserve. Our objectives were: (a) to identify and quantify the characteristics of Eucalyptus dunnii, Eucalyptus grandis [...] Read more.
The sustainable management of forest plantations by keeping the harvest residues on site improves the soil’s chemical, physical and biological properties while constituting an important nutrient reserve. Our objectives were: (a) to identify and quantify the characteristics of Eucalyptus dunnii, Eucalyptus grandis and Eucalyptus globulus that affect the decomposition rates of harvest residues, as well as indicators that can explain the process and (b) to quantify the potential recycling of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) to the soil from residue decomposition and the quantitative and qualitative differences between the species. We analyzed the information of five commercial plantations of Uruguay. At the harvest, the biomass of leaves, thin and thick branches, bark and their respective N, P, K, Ca and Mg contents were quantified. At each site, bags with samples of the different residues were left to decompose and were periodically collected throughout 24 months. Eucalyptus dunnii presented the largest amounts of residues of all parts. The decomposition rates of the different residues depended on their chemical constitution, part size and the species. Eucalyptus dunnii leaves showed the shortest half-life (0.94 years), while the bark of the same species presented the longest (5.62 years). Total nitrogen and carbon (total and soluble) contents, which can be easily determined, emerged as good predictors for half-life estimation. The release patterns of nutrients depended more on their dynamics in the plant and their parts than on the species itself. The results highlight the importance of nutrient recycling to ensure the sustainability of the productive system in the medium and long term. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Nutrient Cycling and Microbial Dynamics in Forests)
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