Skip to Main Content
Belowground carbon cycling in a humid tropical forest decreases with fertilizationAuthor(s): C. Giardina; D. Binkley; M. Ryan; J. Fownes
Source: <i>In</i> Oecologia 139: 545-550. Published online: 8 April 2004. Springer-Verlag 2004
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: North Central Research Station
PDF: View PDF (330.63 KB)
DescriptionOnly a small fraction of the carbon (C) allocated belowground by trees is retained by soils in long-lived, decay-resistant forms, yet because of the large magnitude of terrestrial primary productivity, even small changes in C allocation or retention can alter terrestrial C storage. The humid tropics exert a disproportionately large influence over terrestrial C storage, but C allocation and belowground retention in these ecosystems remain poorly quantified. Using mass balance and 13C isotope methods, we examined the effects of afforestation and fertilization, two land-use changes of large-scale importance, on belowground C cycling at a humid tropical site in Hawaii. Here we report that in unfertilized plots, 80% of the C allocated belowground by trees to roots and mycorrhizae was returned to the atmosphere within 1 year; 9% of the belowground C flux was retained in coarse roots and 11% was retained as new soil C. The gains in new soil C were offset entirely by losses of old soil C. Further, while fertilization early in stand development increased C storage in the litter layer and in coarse roots, it reduced by 22% the flux of C moving through roots and mycorrhizae into mineral soils. Because soil C formation rates related strongly to rhizosphere C flux, fertilization may reduce an already limited capacity of these forests to sequester decay-resistant soil C.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, email@example.com if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationGiardina, C.; Binkley, D.; Ryan, M.; Fownes, J. 2004. Belowground carbon cycling in a humid tropical forest decreases with fertilization. In Oecologia 139: 545-550. Published online: 8 April 2004. Springer-Verlag 2004
KeywordsEcosystem carbon cycling. Hawaii. Rhizosphere respiration. Soil surface CO2 efflux. Soil carbon formation.
- Total Belowground Carbon Allocation in a Fast-growing Eucalyptus Plantation Estimated Using a Carbon Balance Approach
- Effects of Soil Texture on Belowground Carbon and Nutrient Storage in a Lowland Amazonian Forest Ecosystem.
- Interpreting, measuring, and modeling soil respiration
XML: View XML