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Soil conditioning and plant-soil feedbacks in a modified forest ecosystem are soil-context dependent

Orozco-Aceves, M., Standish, R.J. and Tibbett, M. (2015) Soil conditioning and plant-soil feedbacks in a modified forest ecosystem are soil-context dependent. Plant and Soil, 390 (1-2). pp. 183-194.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-015-2390-z
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Abstract

Aims

There is potential for altered plant-soil feedback (PSF) to develop in human-modified ecosystems but empirical data to test this idea are limited. Here, we compared the PSF operating in jarrah forest soil restored after bauxite mining in Western Australia with that operating in unmined soil.

Methods

Native seedlings of jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata), acacia (Acacia pulchella), and bossiaea (Bossiaea ornata) were grown in unmined and restored soils to measure conditioning of chemical and biological properties as compared with unplanted control soils. Subsequently, acacia and bossiaea were grown in soils conditioned by their own or by jarrah seedlings to determine the net PSF.

Results

In unmined soil, the three plant species conditioned the chemical properties but had little effect on the biological properties. In comparison, jarrah and bossiaea conditioned different properties of restored soil while acacia did not condition this soil. In unmined soil, neutral PSF was observed, whereas in restored soil, negative PSF was associated with acacia and bossiaea.

Conclusions

Soil conditioning was influenced by soil context and plant species. The net PSF was influenced by soil context, not by plant species and it was different in restored and unmined soils. The results have practical implications for ecosystem restoration after human activities.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Kluwer Academic Publishers
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/55386
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