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Influence of different forest system management practices on leaf litter decomposition rates, nutrient dynamics and the activity of ligninolytic enzymes: a case study from central European forests.

Purahong W, Kapturska D, Pecyna MJ, Schulz E, Schloter M, Buscot F, Hofrichter M, Krüger D - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: We found that age-class beech and spruce forests (high forest management intensity) had significantly higher decomposition rates and nutrient release (most nutrients) than unmanaged deciduous forest reserves (P<0.05).The site with near-to-nature forest management (low forest management intensity) exhibited no significant differences in litter decomposition rate, C release, lignin decomposition, and C/N, lignin/N and ligninolytic enzyme patterns compared to the unmanaged deciduous forest reserves, but most nutrient dynamics examined in this study were significantly faster under such near-to-nature forest management practices.We demonstrate here that forest system management practices can significantly affect important ecological processes and services such as decomposition and nutrient cycling.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: UFZ-Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Department of Soil Ecology, Halle (Saale), Germany; Chair for Soil Science, Technical University of Munich, Oberschleissheim, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Leaf litter decomposition is the key ecological process that determines the sustainability of managed forest ecosystems, however very few studies hitherto have investigated this process with respect to silvicultural management practices. The aims of the present study were to investigate the effects of forest management practices on leaf litter decomposition rates, nutrient dynamics (C, N, Mg, K, Ca, P) and the activity of ligninolytic enzymes. We approached these questions using a 473 day long litterbag experiment. We found that age-class beech and spruce forests (high forest management intensity) had significantly higher decomposition rates and nutrient release (most nutrients) than unmanaged deciduous forest reserves (P<0.05). The site with near-to-nature forest management (low forest management intensity) exhibited no significant differences in litter decomposition rate, C release, lignin decomposition, and C/N, lignin/N and ligninolytic enzyme patterns compared to the unmanaged deciduous forest reserves, but most nutrient dynamics examined in this study were significantly faster under such near-to-nature forest management practices. Analyzing the activities of ligninolytic enzymes provided evidence that different forest system management practices affect litter decomposition by changing microbial enzyme activities, at least over the investigated time frame of 473 days (laccase, P<0.0001; manganese peroxidase (MnP), P = 0.0260). Our results also indicate that lignin decomposition is the rate limiting step in leaf litter decomposition and that MnP is one of the key oxidative enzymes of litter degradation. We demonstrate here that forest system management practices can significantly affect important ecological processes and services such as decomposition and nutrient cycling.

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Remaining amount of leaf litter dry mass, carbon, nitrogen and total lignin during decomposition under different forest system management practices.Norway spruce age-class forest (blue, SA), European beech age-class forest (red, BA), European beech selective cut forest (green, BS) and unmanaged deciduous forest reserves dominated by European beech (black, BU) (mean ± SD, n = 3). Different letters indicate significant differences according to one-way ANOVA incorporating Fisher’s Least Significant Difference (from 89 DAI to 473 DAI).
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pone-0093700-g001: Remaining amount of leaf litter dry mass, carbon, nitrogen and total lignin during decomposition under different forest system management practices.Norway spruce age-class forest (blue, SA), European beech age-class forest (red, BA), European beech selective cut forest (green, BS) and unmanaged deciduous forest reserves dominated by European beech (black, BU) (mean ± SD, n = 3). Different letters indicate significant differences according to one-way ANOVA incorporating Fisher’s Least Significant Difference (from 89 DAI to 473 DAI).

Mentions: The remaining mass of leaf litter varied significantly with forest system management practice (treatments). Surprisingly, we did not find a negative effect of high forest management intensity and/or conversion of forest types on the leaf litter decomposition rate for any of the DAI sampling times. In general, leaf litter in unmanaged beech forest (BU) decomposed relatively slower than in other forests, and the results were significant at 362 and 473 DAI (Fig. 1). One-way ANOVA demonstrated that at 362 DAI, spruce age-class (SA), beech age-class (BA) and beech selecting cutting (BS) forests had significantly lower mass remaining (higher decomposition rates) than BU (F = 10.37, P = 0.0039). At the end of the experiment, SA and BA had significantly lower mass remaining (higher decomposition rates) than BU (F = 4.58, P = 0.0378) (Fig. 1; Table 3).


Influence of different forest system management practices on leaf litter decomposition rates, nutrient dynamics and the activity of ligninolytic enzymes: a case study from central European forests.

Purahong W, Kapturska D, Pecyna MJ, Schulz E, Schloter M, Buscot F, Hofrichter M, Krüger D - PLoS ONE (2014)

Remaining amount of leaf litter dry mass, carbon, nitrogen and total lignin during decomposition under different forest system management practices.Norway spruce age-class forest (blue, SA), European beech age-class forest (red, BA), European beech selective cut forest (green, BS) and unmanaged deciduous forest reserves dominated by European beech (black, BU) (mean ± SD, n = 3). Different letters indicate significant differences according to one-way ANOVA incorporating Fisher’s Least Significant Difference (from 89 DAI to 473 DAI).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3974784&req=5

pone-0093700-g001: Remaining amount of leaf litter dry mass, carbon, nitrogen and total lignin during decomposition under different forest system management practices.Norway spruce age-class forest (blue, SA), European beech age-class forest (red, BA), European beech selective cut forest (green, BS) and unmanaged deciduous forest reserves dominated by European beech (black, BU) (mean ± SD, n = 3). Different letters indicate significant differences according to one-way ANOVA incorporating Fisher’s Least Significant Difference (from 89 DAI to 473 DAI).
Mentions: The remaining mass of leaf litter varied significantly with forest system management practice (treatments). Surprisingly, we did not find a negative effect of high forest management intensity and/or conversion of forest types on the leaf litter decomposition rate for any of the DAI sampling times. In general, leaf litter in unmanaged beech forest (BU) decomposed relatively slower than in other forests, and the results were significant at 362 and 473 DAI (Fig. 1). One-way ANOVA demonstrated that at 362 DAI, spruce age-class (SA), beech age-class (BA) and beech selecting cutting (BS) forests had significantly lower mass remaining (higher decomposition rates) than BU (F = 10.37, P = 0.0039). At the end of the experiment, SA and BA had significantly lower mass remaining (higher decomposition rates) than BU (F = 4.58, P = 0.0378) (Fig. 1; Table 3).

Bottom Line: We found that age-class beech and spruce forests (high forest management intensity) had significantly higher decomposition rates and nutrient release (most nutrients) than unmanaged deciduous forest reserves (P<0.05).The site with near-to-nature forest management (low forest management intensity) exhibited no significant differences in litter decomposition rate, C release, lignin decomposition, and C/N, lignin/N and ligninolytic enzyme patterns compared to the unmanaged deciduous forest reserves, but most nutrient dynamics examined in this study were significantly faster under such near-to-nature forest management practices.We demonstrate here that forest system management practices can significantly affect important ecological processes and services such as decomposition and nutrient cycling.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: UFZ-Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Department of Soil Ecology, Halle (Saale), Germany; Chair for Soil Science, Technical University of Munich, Oberschleissheim, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Leaf litter decomposition is the key ecological process that determines the sustainability of managed forest ecosystems, however very few studies hitherto have investigated this process with respect to silvicultural management practices. The aims of the present study were to investigate the effects of forest management practices on leaf litter decomposition rates, nutrient dynamics (C, N, Mg, K, Ca, P) and the activity of ligninolytic enzymes. We approached these questions using a 473 day long litterbag experiment. We found that age-class beech and spruce forests (high forest management intensity) had significantly higher decomposition rates and nutrient release (most nutrients) than unmanaged deciduous forest reserves (P<0.05). The site with near-to-nature forest management (low forest management intensity) exhibited no significant differences in litter decomposition rate, C release, lignin decomposition, and C/N, lignin/N and ligninolytic enzyme patterns compared to the unmanaged deciduous forest reserves, but most nutrient dynamics examined in this study were significantly faster under such near-to-nature forest management practices. Analyzing the activities of ligninolytic enzymes provided evidence that different forest system management practices affect litter decomposition by changing microbial enzyme activities, at least over the investigated time frame of 473 days (laccase, P<0.0001; manganese peroxidase (MnP), P = 0.0260). Our results also indicate that lignin decomposition is the rate limiting step in leaf litter decomposition and that MnP is one of the key oxidative enzymes of litter degradation. We demonstrate here that forest system management practices can significantly affect important ecological processes and services such as decomposition and nutrient cycling.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus