Skip to Main Content
Nitrogen fertilization decreases forest soil fungal and bacterial biomass in three long-term experimentsAuthor(s): Matthew D. Wallenstein; Steven McNulty; Ivan J. Fernandez; Johnny Boggs; William H. Schlesinger
Source: Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 222: 459-468
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
PDF: Download Publication (1.09 MB)
DescriptionWe examined the effects of N fertilization on forest soil fungal and bacterial biomass at three long-term experiments in New England (Harvard Forest, MA; Mt. Ascutney, VT; Bear Brook, ME). At Harvard Forest, chronic N fertilization has decreased organic soil microbial biomass C (MBC) by an average of 54% and substrate induced respiration (SIR) was decreased by an average of 45% in hardwood stands. In the pine stand, organic soil MBC was decreased by 40% and SIR decreased by an average of 35%. The fungal:bacterial activity ratio was also decreased in the hardwood stands from an average of 1.5 in the control plot to I .O in the High-N plot, and in the pine stands from 1.9 in control plot to 1.0 in the High-N stand. At Mt. Ascutney, MBC was reduced by an average of 59% and SIR by 52% in the High N plots relative to the unfertilized plots, and the fungal:bacterial activity ratio was only slightly decreased. The Bear Brook watershed is in an earlier stage of N saturation (Stage 0-1) and did not exhibit significant fertilization effects on microbial biomass. Across all three sites, MBC and SIR had negative relationships with total N inputs in both mineral soils and organic soils, though the effect was much stronger in organic soils. Both MBC and SIR were positively correlated with dissolved organic C, total soil C, and bulk soil C:N ratios. These results are consistent with the N saturation hypothesis, but do not indicate a strong role for microbial N immobilization in preventing N loss.
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- 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.
CitationWallenstein, Matthew D.; McNulty, Steven; Fernandez, Ivan J.; Boggs, Johnny; Schlesinger, William H. 2006. Nitrogen fertilization decreases forest soil fungal and bacterial biomass in three long-term experiments. Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 222: 459-468
KeywordsNitrogen fertilization, microbial biomass, nitrogen saturation, selective inhibition
- Nitrogen Excess in North American Ecosystems: Predisposing Factors, Ecosystem Responses, and Management Strategies
- Soil C and N storage and microbial biomass in US southern pine forests: Influence of forest management
- Microbial biomass and bacterial functional diversity in forest soils: effects of organic matter removal, compaction, and vegetation control
XML: View XML