Keeping thinning-derived deadwood logs on forest floor improves soil organic carbon, microbial biomass, and enzyme activity in a temperate spruce forest

Meisam Nazari, Johanna Pausch, Samuel Bickel, Nataliya Bilyera, Mehdi Rashtbari, Bahar S. Razavi, Kazem Zamanian, Amin Sharififar, Lingling Shi, Michaela A. Dippold, Mohsen Zarebanadkouki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Deadwood is a key component of forest ecosystems, but there is limited information on how it influences forest soils. Moreover, studies on the effect of thinning-derived deadwood logs on forest soil properties are lacking. This study aimed to investigate the impact of thinning-derived deadwood logs on the soil chemical and microbial properties of a managed spruce forest on a loamy sand Podzol in Bavaria, Germany, after about 15 years. Deadwood increased the soil organic carbon contents by 59% and 56% at 0–4 cm and 8–12 cm depths, respectively. Under deadwood, the soil dissolved organic carbon and carbon to nitrogen ratio increased by 66% and 15% at 0–4 cm depth and by 55% and 28% at 8–12 cm depth, respectively. Deadwood also induced 71% and 92% higher microbial biomass carbon, 106% and 125% higher microbial biomass nitrogen, and 136% and 44% higher β-glucosidase activity in the soil at 0–4 cm and 8–12 cm depths, respectively. Many of the measured variables significantly correlated with soil organic carbon suggesting that deadwood modified the soil biochemical processes by altering soil carbon storage. Our results indicate the potential of thinned spruce deadwood logs to sequester carbon and improve the fertility of Podzol soils. This could be associated with the slow decay rate of spruce deadwood logs and low biological activity of Podzols that promote the accumulation of soil carbon. We propose that leaving thinning-derived deadwood on the forest floor can support soil and forest sustainability as well as carbon sequestration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-300
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Forest Research
Volume142
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Keywords

  • Carbon sequestration
  • Picea abies
  • Soil organic matter
  • Wood decomposition

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Keeping thinning-derived deadwood logs on forest floor improves soil organic carbon, microbial biomass, and enzyme activity in a temperate spruce forest'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this