Skip to Main Content
The biogeochemistry of phosphorus across an alpine topographic/snow gradientAuthor(s): M. I. Litaor; T. R. Seastedt; M. D. Walker; M. Carbone; A. Townsend
Source: Geoderma, Vol. 124, p. 49-61
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
PDF: Download Publication (2.8 MB)
DescriptionPhosphorus (P) availability has generally been assumed to be the limiting or co-limiting factor for plant growth in alpine environments. To test this assumption, the biogeochemistry of phosphorus (P) along an alpine topographic/snow gradient located on Niwot Ridge, Colorado Front Range was studied in the context of P limitation for plant growth. We measured the various P pools using a selective extraction procedure, determined sorption parameters, and quantified P availability indices. The topographic/snow gradient at Niwot Ridge is divided by the aspect and slope position in relation to the dominant westerly winds into leeward-sloping, windward-sloping and generally level sites. Our study found that the snow-melting gradient along the alpine transect greatly affected the antecedent soil moisture, which in turn, controlled the spatial pattern ofthe major soil attributes such as texture, OC, weathering index, bulk density, non-labile and labile P pools and P availability. The level sites exhibited the highest concentration of organically bound P (1056 Â± 75 mg/kg), labile P (315 Â± 32 mg/kg), and P in soil solutions corrected for soil adsorption capacity (field condition, 4.9 Â± 4.1 mg/l and saturated paste, 8.0 Â± 7.5 mg/l). Results of correlation analysis between the various P pools and aboveground biomass of different plant groups suggests that a high level of available P provides a growing advantage to only certain alpine plants and is not a good indicator of the spatial distribution of total aboveground biomass.
- 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.
CitationLitaor, M. I.; Seastedt, T. R.; Walker, M. D.; Carbone, M.; Townsend, A. 2005. The biogeochemistry of phosphorus across an alpine topographic/snow gradient. Geoderma, Vol. 124, p. 49-61
- Long-term affects of a single P fertilization on Hedley P pools in a South Carolina loblolly pine plantation
- Phosphorus translocation by red deer on a subalpine grassland in the central European Alps
- Picloram Movement in Soil Solution and Streamflow from a Coastal Plain Forest
XML: View XML