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The effects of Eucalyptus globulus Labill. leaf letter on C and N mineralization in soils from pasture and native forest

Aggangan, R.T., O’Connell, A.M., McGrath, J.F. and Dell, B. (1999) The effects of Eucalyptus globulus Labill. leaf letter on C and N mineralization in soils from pasture and native forest. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 31 (11). pp. 1481-1487.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0038-0717(99)00052-8
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Abstract

The effects of addition of Eucalyptus globulus leaf litter on carbon and nitrogen mineralization in soils from a pasture and a native forest were evaluated using a long-term laboratory aerobic incubation assay (29 weeks at 20°C) in leaching microlysimeters. The amount of added leaf litter significantly influenced microbial respiration, microbial biomass and N turnover in both the native forest and pasture soils. Cumulative CO2-C respired increased with increasing rate of leaf litter addition when leaf litter was mixed through the soil or placed on the soil surface. These increases were associated with increases in microbial biomass C content. Cumulative net N mineralization declined in all treatments when litter was added and was lowest when leaf litter was mixed with soil. When leaf litter was added in increasing amounts to the soil surface, there was a concomitant increase in microbial biomass N content (r2=0.79, n = 8), indicating that the reduction in net N mineralization was primarily due to immobilization of N in microbial tissues. In contrast, when litter was mixed with soil in increasing amounts, there was a decrease in microbial biomass N in forest soil and an increase in pasture soil. Consequently, changes in the rate of net N mineralization were not well related to changes in microbial biomass N content. It is suggested that this may be due to the greater activity and more rapid turnover of microorganisms where litter was incorporated resulting in more of the immobilized N being partitioned into metabolic products or dead microbial cells. Incorporation of litter may also have enhanced loss N through denitrification.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Publisher: Elsevier BV
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/17582
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