Forest Litter Decomposition and Biogeochemistry

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 August 2024 | Viewed by 2437

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
College of Forestry, Hebei Agricultural University, Baoding 071001, China
Interests: forest biogeochemical cycle; atmospheric nitrogen deposition; carbon sink

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Guest Editor
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science, University of Nevada, Reno, NV 89557, USA
Interests: forest biogeochemistry; wetland biogeochemistry; succession and ecosystem development; effects of climatic warming and CO2 fertilization on forest soils; soil organic matter chemistry; microbial ecology; chlorine chemistry in water; ultraviolet light disinfection
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Guest Editor
Faculty of Agronomy, Vytautas Magnus University Agriculture Academy, Studentų Str. 11, Kaunas District, LT-53361 Akademija, Lithuania
Interests: soil; microorganisms; forest litter; decomposition; carbon

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Guest Editor
College of Forestry, Hebei Agricultural University, Baoding 071001, China
Interests: forest biogeochemical cycle; forest management; vegetation restoration

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Guest Editor
College of Forestry, Hebei Agricultural University, Baoding 071001, China
Interests: species diversity conservation; landscape patterns and processes; multifunctional forest management
Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100045, China
Interests: forest biogeochemical cycle; carbon and nitrogen storage; carbon sink

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Guest Editor
College of Forestry, Hebei Agricultural University, Baoding 071001, China
Interests: nutrient cycling in forest ecosystems; coupling relationship between plant–soil nutrient pool; forest management and health assessment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Litter decomposition is one of the important ways for available nutrients to return to soil and is the key process of biogeochemical cycling in forest ecosystems. It directly affects forest primary productivity and carbon sink, soil fertility maintenance, and the overall sustainability of the ecosystem. While previous research has extensively examined forest litter decomposition and its influencing factors, the complex and diversity of forest ecosystems have left the biogeochemical processes and mechanisms of litter decomposition poorly understood. To advance the study of forest litter decomposition and its biogeochemistry, it is essential to employ novel methods, new perspectives, and innovative paradigms. These approaches can shed light on the role, patterns, and mechanisms of forest litter decomposition in biogeochemical cycling, ranging from short-term to long-term dynamics and from localized site studies to global patterns. Our Special Issue aims to contribute new insights into how forest litter decomposition and biogeochemistry respond to global climate change, as well as the underlying biotic and abiotic mechanisms in complex forest ecosystems.

Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Response of forest litter decomposition and biogeochemical cycles to global climate change, particularly the interactions among multiple factors;
  • Mechanism of soil organisms in driving forest litter decomposition and biogeochemical cycles;
  • The roles and dynamics of fallen trees, snags, stumps, and roots in forest ecosystems;
  • Contributions of understory plants in forest litter decomposition and biogeochemistry dynamics;
  • Forest litter decomposition and biogeochemistry in mixed forests;
  • The role and mechanism of forest litter carbon release from localized site studies to global patterns.

Dr. Yanlong Jia
Prof. Dr. Robert G. Qualls
Dr. Jūratė Aleinikovienė
Prof. Dr. Zhongqi Xu
Dr. Zhidong Zhang
Dr. Li Xu
Dr. Yue Pang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • forest litter
  • litter decomposition
  • forest biogeochemistry
  • global climate change
  • soil organisms
  • fallen trees
  • understory plant
  • mixed forests

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 4587 KiB  
Article
Effects of Soil Fauna on the Home-Field Advantage of Litter Total Phenol and Condensed Tannin Decomposition
by Lingyuan Lei, Jing Zeng, Quanwei Liu, Lijuan Luo, Zhiliang Ma, Yamei Chen and Yang Liu
Forests 2024, 15(2), 389; https://doi.org/10.3390/f15020389 - 19 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 913
Abstract
Soil fauna play a vital role in contributing to the home-field advantage (HFA: litter decomposes faster in its natural habitat than elsewhere) during litter decomposition. Whether the presence of soil fauna affects the HFA of the decomposition of total phenols and condensed tannins, [...] Read more.
Soil fauna play a vital role in contributing to the home-field advantage (HFA: litter decomposes faster in its natural habitat than elsewhere) during litter decomposition. Whether the presence of soil fauna affects the HFA of the decomposition of total phenols and condensed tannins, which are important components of litter, has rarely been investigated. In this study, litterbags with different mesh sizes were transplanted reciprocally, 0.04 mm (basically excluding soil fauna) and 3 mm (basically allowing all soil fauna to enter), in Lindera megaphylla and Cryptomeria fortunei forests. The results illustrated that the loss rates of total phenols and condensed tannins reached 64.07% to 84.49% and 69.67% to 88.37%, respectively, after 2 months of decomposition. Moreover, soil fauna positively contributed to the decomposition of condensed tannins in high-quality litter. After 2 months of decomposition, a significantly positive HFA (HFA index: 10.32) was found for total phenol decomposition in the coarse mesh, while a significantly negative HFA (HFA index: −1.81) was observed for condensed tannin decomposition in the fine mesh after 10 months of decomposition. Polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and peroxidase (POD) activities were significantly influenced by litter types. The loss rates of total phenols and condensed tannins were significantly negatively correlated with the initial N content, P content, N/P ratio, and POD activity and were positively related to the initial C content, total phenol content, condensed tannin content, C/P ratio, and C/N ratio. Only the loss of condensed tannins was negatively correlated with PPO activity (after 2 months’ decomposition). However, none of these correlations were observed after 10 months of decomposition. Our study illustrated that (1) soil fauna contributed to the decomposition of total phenols and condensed tannins but were influenced by litter type for condensed tannins. (2) The soil fauna had inconsistent effects on the HFA of total phenols and condensed tannins, possibly due to the combined regulatory effects of environmental context, litter quality, and rapid decomposition rates. In sum, the results indicated that soil fauna played an important role in the decomposition of condensed tannins and total phenols in litter, and additional studies on the effects of soil faunal abundance and class on HFA of condensed tannins and total phenols are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Litter Decomposition and Biogeochemistry)
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13 pages, 3510 KiB  
Article
Excluding Roots or Mycorrhizal Hyphae Alters the Microbial Community and Function by Decreasing Available C and N in a Subtropical Chinese Fir Forest
by Pingping Lian, Linglin Xu, Kai Yue and Liuming Yang
Forests 2023, 14(9), 1847; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14091847 - 11 Sep 2023
Viewed by 823
Abstract
Carbon (C) inputs, primarily from roots and associated mycorrhizal hyphae, serve as crucial energy sources for microbial-driven C and nitrogen (N) cycling in the soil. However, our understanding of how soil microbial diversity, function, and associated soil properties respond to the exclusion of [...] Read more.
Carbon (C) inputs, primarily from roots and associated mycorrhizal hyphae, serve as crucial energy sources for microbial-driven C and nitrogen (N) cycling in the soil. However, our understanding of how soil microbial diversity, function, and associated soil properties respond to the exclusion of roots and their associated mycorrhizal hyphae remains limited. In our study, we conducted an experiment with no exclusion of roots or mycorrhizal hyphae (Control), exclusion of roots and retention of mycorrhizal hyphae (NR), and exclusion of roots and mycorrhizal hyphae (NRH) in a Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata) forest, the most important plantation in China. The soil properties, microbial community diversity and composition, and microbial function were investigated after 2 years of experiment exclusion. We found that exclusion of roots and hyphae significantly decreased DOC, DON, NH4+-N, and NO3-N, but not SOC, TN, and TP, indicating that the exclusion of roots and mycorrhizal hyphae mainly reduced available C and N concentrations. Meanwhile, the species richness and Chao1 of bacteria and fungi were significantly reduced, primarily due to the decrease in available C and N levels. These findings suggest that the removal of roots and mycorrhizal hyphae results in a decrease in C and N availability, subsequently leading to a loss of microbial diversity. Compared to after the CT treatment, the relative abundances of Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria phyla were reduced after exclusion of roots and hyphae. However, the relative abundances of the phyla Acidobacteria, WPS2, Rozellomycota, and Glomeromycota showed an increase in exclusion treatments. Furthermore, the relative abundances of genes for C degradation (e.g., malQ, malZ, chi, rfbB, bglX, and ablA), C fixation (e.g., accA, icd, korA, and korB), and N fixation (nifS) were increased; conversely, the N degradation genes (e.g., nasA, nirB, ureC, and gdh2) were decreased in treatments involving excluding roots and hyphae. These results, in conjunction with the strong relationships between functional genes and DOC, DON, NH4+-N, and NO3-N, suggest that microorganisms regulate functional genes to enhance C and N fixation or organic matter decomposition in response to C or N limitation resulting from root and mycorrhizal hypha exclusion. Collectively, our study revealed that the changes in roots-derived C directly altered available C and N in soil, which influenced the microbial community and function, and, in turn, regulated microbial-driven nutrient cycling in forest soils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Litter Decomposition and Biogeochemistry)
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