Nohrstedt HO, Sikstrom U, Ring E, Nasholm T, Hogberg P, Persson T
Nitrate in soil water in three Norway spruce stands in southwest Sweden as related to N-deposition and soil, stand, and foliage properties
Canadian Journal of Forest Research-Revue Canadienne De Recherche Forestiere: 1996 26:836-848
N-cycling was studied at three Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) sites located within a distance of 30 km in southwest Sweden. Nitrate concentrations in soil water at 50-cm depth differed substantially between the three sites, annual site means being 0, 1, and 9 mg N . L(-1). Using simulated runoff, the leaching of inorganic N from the two sites with the highest concentrations was estimated at, respectively, 7-8 and 19-30 kg . ha(-1) during the hydrological year 1991-1992. The N-deposition measured as throughfall was 31 kg . ha(-1) on the second site, suggesting that it was close to being N-saturated. The differences in nitrate concentration and estimated leaching across sites were not related to differences in forest growth or suggested symptoms of forest decline, such as canopy defoliation and nutrient deficiency. Nitrate concentrations were unrelated to N-deposition in an open field, but positively related to N-deposition in throughfall. However, the difference in N-leaching between the two main sites was much larger than the difference in N-deposition in throughfall. The difference in leaching seemed related to soil conditions. The soil with the highest leaching had the largest potential nitrification and a low C/N ratio (17-20) in the upper part of the profile. Nitrate concentrations in the soil water were positively related to the concentrations of arginine and N-15 in foliage, which supports the use of these two variables as indicators of forests approaching N-saturation.
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