Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): JOHN J. EWEL
    Date: 2006
    Source: Ecological Applications, 16(2), :490–502
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: View PDF  (276 B)

    Description

    Among the many factors that potentially influence the rate at which nitrogen (N) becomes available to plants in terrestrial ecosystems are the identity and diversity of species composition, frequency of disturbance or stand turnover, and time. Replicated suites of investigator-designed communities afforded an opportunity to examine the effects of those factors on net N mineralization over a 12-year period. The communities consisted of largestature perennial plants, comprising three tree species (Hyeronima alchorneoides, Cedrela odorata, and Cordia alliodora), a palm (Euterpe oleracea), and a large, perennial herb (Heliconia imbricata). Trees were grown in monoculture and in combination with the other two life-forms; tree monocultures were subjected to rotations of one or four years, or like the three-life-form systems, left uncut. The work was conducted on fertile soil in the humid lowlands of Costa Rica, a site with few abiotic constraints to plant growth. Rates of net N mineralization and nitrification were high, typically in the range of 0.2–0.8 lgg1d1, with net nitrification slightly higher than net mineralization, indicating preferential uptake of ammonium (NH4þ) by plants and microbes. Net rates of N mineralization were about 30% lower in stands of one of the three tree species, Hyeronima, than in stands of the other two. Contrary to expectations, short-rotation management (one or four years) resulted in higher net rates of N mineralization than in uncut stands, whether the latter were composed of a single tree species or a combination of life-forms. Neither additional species richness nor replenishment of leached N augmented mineralization rates. The net rate at which N was supplied tended to be lowest in stands where demand for N was highest. Careful choice of species, coupled with low frequency of disturbance, can lead to maintenance of N within biomass and steady rates of within-system circulation, whereas pulses, whether caused by cutting and replanting or by the phenological traits of the species selected or combined, subject N supplies to leaching loss.

    Publication Notes

    • 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.

    Citation

    EWEL, JOHN J. 2006. SPECIES AND ROTATION FREQUENCY INFLUENCE SOIL NITROGEN IN SIMPLIFIED TROPICAL PLANT COMMUNITIES. Ecological Applications, 16(2), :490–502

    Keywords

    biodiversity, Cedrela, Cordia, Costa Rica, disturbance, Euterpe, Heliconia, Hyeronima, mineralization, nitrification, nitrogen, plant crop rotation.

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/30045