Canadian Forest Service Publications

The contrasting effects of aspen and jack pine on soil nutritional properties depend on parent material. 2007. Ste-Marie, C.; Paré, D.; Gagnon, D. Ecosystems 10: 1299-1310.

Year: 2007

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 28308

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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The influence of forest stand composition on soil was investigated by comparing the forest floor (FH) and upper mineral soil (0–20 cm) nutritional properties of jack pine and aspen stands on two soil types of contrasting fertility, a coarse-textured and a fine-textured deposit, in a replicated design. The studied tree species are pioneers that are found after major disturbances in the southern boreal forest of western Quebec and that differ in their nutrient requirements but not in their growth rate. Soil organic matter as well as total and available N, P, K, Ca, Mg contents were determined and the relationships with nutrient accumulation in tree biomass were studied. On both soil types a greater total and available nutrient accumulation in the forest floor layer was observed in aspen than in jack pine whereas such differences between stand types could not be detected in the mineral soil. Differences in FH nutrient content between stand types were larger on coarse deposits than on fine-textured soils. These results support the hypothesis that tree species with greater nutrient requirements cause an enrichment of the surface soil at least in the short term. The modulation of tree species effect by soil type was contrary to the pattern observed in other studies since a greater expression of this effect was observed on poorer soils. Differences in soil nutrient content were related to levels of organic matter accumulation.