Change in physical properties of forest soils in a long-term experiment of detritus input and removal treatment

Dr Katalin Juhos1, Dr István Fekete1, Dr Susan Trumbore2, Dr Marianna  Makádi3, Dr Ibolya  Demeter3, Dr Ornella  Francioso4, Dr Paola  Gioacchini4, Dr Daniela  Montecchio4, Dr Zsolt Kotroczó1

1Szent István University, Department of Soil Science and Water Management, Budapest, Hungary, 2Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany, 3Centre for Agricultural Sciences, Research Institute of Nyíregyháza, University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary, 4Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Agro-Alimentari, Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italy

Climate change affects both the productions of detritus and soil moisture and temperature as well. These parameters alter the physical, chemical and biological properties of soils. We modeled the change in the amount of the detritus caused by climate change in a long-term experiment in a temperate-zone Quercetum petraeae-cerris community of Hungary. Six treatments were established in three replicates on Luvisol (clay loam): Double Litter (DL), Double Wood (DW), Control (C), No Litter (NL), No Roots (NR), No Inputs (NI). We examined on each plots how to change the soil physical parameters after 13 years. The bulk density (BD) and water holding capacity (WHC) were measured at 0-10 cm depths. The variance analysis (Tukey’s range test) shows that the BD of NL, NR and NI (average BD varies between 1.09 and 1.11 g cm-3) treatments are significantly (p<0.05) higher than in the control, DL and DW treatments (mean BD: 0.95-1.01 g cm-3). There was no significant difference between the control and detritus input treatments. The WHC of the control, DW and DL plots (mean WHC: 48.74-49.62 V/V%) were higher than in the NL, NR and NI treatments (mean WHC: 46.15-46.80 V/V%) but the difference was no significant (p<0.05). In contrast with the detritus inputs and significant higher soil organic carbon (mean OC: 5.66-6.28%), there was no change in soil physical properties compared to the control. However, the detritus removal treatments (OC: 3.57-4.10%) have significant effect on the BD and WHC. As a result of the drying of the climate and forest degradation, the porosity of the soils and their water capacity will probably decrease, which further deteriorates the hydrological condition of the area.

Project no. 126478 has been implemented with the support provided by the National Research, Development and Innovation Fund of Hungary, financed under the KH_17 funding scheme


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