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Effects of long-term nitrogen addition and atmospheric nitrogen deposition on carbon accumulation in Picea sitchensis plantations

Gentilesca, Tiziana; Vieno, Massimo; Perks, Michael P.; Borghetti, Marco; Mencuccini, Maurizio. 2013 Effects of long-term nitrogen addition and atmospheric nitrogen deposition on carbon accumulation in Picea sitchensis plantations. Ecosystems, 16 (7). 1310-1324. 10.1007/s10021-013-9685-9

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Abstract/Summary

This study aimed to assess the combined effects of long-term nitrogen (N) supply and nitrogen deposition (Ndep) on carbon (C) accumulation within Sitka spruce [Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr.] plantations in Scotland. Six study sites established from 1970 to 1982 were periodically N-fertilized, monitored over time and commonly surveyed in 2010. Soil, aboveground biomass, and ground vegetation C stock changes were analyzed; aboveground C stocks were correlated with total additional N experienced at each site, that is, the sum of experimental N supply (Nadd) and site-specific accumulated Ndep from 1900 to 2010. Results showed a positive N effect on aboveground tree C stock and no decline in tree growth was observed either during fertilization or after the latest N addition. The amount of C in litter was significantly higher in experimentally N-treated plots, whereas the amount of C in understory vegetation was higher in control plots. Pooling all the compartments (that is, understory vegetation, litter, soil, and tree biomass) the total ecosystem C content was estimated for each site, and at most sites a higher C stock was estimated for N-treated plots. Differences in aboveground C accumulation rates between treated and control plots were lower at sites with high levels of accumulated Ndep. Our results indicate that site-specific accumulated Ndep should be considered to understand tree growth responses to N fertilization.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1007/s10021-013-9685-9
CEH Sections: Billett (to November 2013)
ISSN: 1432-9840
Additional Keywords: anthropogenic nitrogen deposition, carbon stock, Sitka spruce, soil fertilization, tree growth, urea
Date made live: 20 Mar 2014 15:06 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/506494

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