N-fixing trees in restoration plantings: effects on nitrogen supply and soil microbial communities

Hoogmoed,M, Cunningham,SC, Baker,P, Beringer,J and Cavagnaro,TR 2014, N-fixing trees in restoration plantings: effects on nitrogen supply and soil microbial communities, Soil biology and biochemistry, vol. 77, pp. 203-212, doi: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2014.06.008.

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Title N-fixing trees in restoration plantings: effects on nitrogen supply and soil microbial communities
Author(s) Hoogmoed,M
Journal name Soil biology and biochemistry
Volume number 77
Start page 203
End page 212
Total pages 10
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2014-10
ISSN 0038-0717
Keyword(s) Acacia
Carbon sequestration
Nutrient cycling
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Soil Science
N-15 isotope
Summary Mixed-species restoration tree plantings are being established increasingly, contributing to mitigate climate change and restore ecosystems. Including nitrogen (N)-fixing tree species may increase carbon (C) sequestration in mixed-species plantings, as these species may substantially increase soil C beneath them. We need to better understand the role of N-fixers in mixed-species plantings to potentially maximize soil C sequestration in these systems. Here, we present a field-based study that asked two specific questions related to the inclusion of N-fixing trees in a mixed-species planting: 1) Do non-N-fixing trees have access to N derived from fixation of atmospheric N2 by neighbouring N-fixing trees? 2) Do soil microbial communities differ under N-fixing trees and non-N-fixing trees in a mixed-species restoration planting? We sampled leaves from the crowns, and litter and soils beneath the crowns of two N-fixing and two non-N-fixing tree species that dominated the planting. Using the 15N natural abundance method, we found indications that fixed atmospheric N was utilized by the non-N-fixing trees, most likely through tight root connections or organic forms of N from the litter layer, rather than through the decomposition of N-fixers litter. While the two N-fixing tree species that were studied appeared to fix atmospheric N, they were substantially different in terms of C and N addition to the soil, as well as microbial community composition beneath them. This shows that the effect of N-fixing tree species on soil carbon sequestration is species-specific, cannot be generalized and requires planting trails to determine if there will be benefits to carbon sequestration. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.soilbio.2014.06.008
Field of Research 050102 Ecosystem Function
Socio Economic Objective 961202 Rehabilitation of Degraded Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Environments
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2014, Elsevier
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30071611

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