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Carbon dynamics of young experimental afforestations in Thuringia [Elektronische Ressource] / vorgelegt von Axel Don

194 pages
Carbon dynamicsof young experimental afforestationsin Thuringia Dissertationzur Erlangung des Grades eines Doktors der Naturwissenschaftender Geowissenschaftlichen Fakultätder Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen vorgelegt von Dipl. Geoökologe Axel Don aus Kassel 2007Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 19. 11. 2007 Dekan: Prof. Dr. Peter Grathwohl 1. Berichterstatter: Prof. Dr. Thomas Scholten (Geographisches Institut, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen) 2. Berichterstatter: Prof. Dr. Ernst-Detlef Schulze (Max-Planck Institut für Biogeochemie, Jena) 3. Berichterstatter: Prof. Dr. Nina Buchmann (Institut für Pflanzenwissenschaften, ETH Zürich, Schweiz) 2ContentsPlates I - III ...................................................................................................................................................4 1. Introduction and hypotheses.................................................................................................................7 2. Overview on the six manuscripts .......................................................................................................11 2.1 Background: Afforestations and the Kyoto protocol......................................................11 2.2 The biodiversity experiment BIOTREE (manuscript 1) .................................................12 2.3 Factors influencing tree survival and establishment (manuscript 2) ..............................14 2.
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Carbon dynamics
of young experimental afforestations
in Thuringia
Dissertation
zur Erlangung des Grades eines Doktors der Naturwissenschaften
der Geowissenschaftlichen Fakultät
der Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
vorgelegt von
Dipl. Geoökologe Axel Don
aus Kassel
2007Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 19. 11. 2007
Dekan: Prof. Dr. Peter Grathwohl
1. Berichterstatter: Prof. Dr. Thomas Scholten (Geographisches Institut, Eberhard
Karls Universität Tübingen)
2. Berichterstatter: Prof. Dr. Ernst-Detlef Schulze (Max-Planck Institut für
Biogeochemie, Jena)
3. Berichterstatter: Prof. Dr. Nina Buchmann (Institut für Pflanzenwissenschaften,
ETH Zürich, Schweiz)
2Contents
Plates I - III ...................................................................................................................................................4
1. Introduction and hypotheses.................................................................................................................7
2. Overview on the six manuscripts .......................................................................................................11
2.1 Background: Afforestations and the Kyoto protocol......................................................11
2.2 The biodiversity experiment BIOTREE (manuscript 1) .................................................12
2.3 Factors influencing tree survival and establishment (manuscript 2) ..............................14
2.4 Land use changes and soil C (manuscript 3)......................................................................15
2.5 Effect of afforestations on net biome productivity (NBP) compared to
non-afforested grassland (manuscript 4) ...........................................................................18
2.6 The detectability of the C flux balances with soil C inventories (manuscript 5) ..........21
2.7 The impact of earthworms on soil carbon turnover rates (manuscript 6) ...................22
3. Conclusions.............................................................................................................................................25
4. Outlook....................................................................................................................................................27
4.1 Projected C sequestration depending on tree species and diversity................................27
4.2 Changes in soil fauna along with forest development ......................................................28
4.3 Soil C sequestration mechanism in the subsoil ..................................................................28
References for chapter 1 - 4......................................................................................................................30
Summary ......................................................................................................................................................35
Zusammenfassung......................................................................................................................................37
Manuscript 1: Exploring the functional significance of forest diversity: A new long-term
experiment with temperate tree species (BIOTREE)................................................39
Manuscript 2: Establishment success of 19 different tree species on afforestations –
Results of a biodiversity experiment (in German)......................................................71
Manuscript 3: Conversion of cropland into grassland – implications for soil organic carbon
stocks in two soils with different texture.....................................................................91
Manuscript 4: Impact of afforestation of an extensively managed grassland on C fluxes...........113
Manuscript 5: Spatial and vertical variation of soil carbon at two grassland sites –
implications for measuring soil carbon stocks..........................................................141
Manuscript 6: Organic carbon sequestration in earthworm burrows.............................................165
Acknowledgments ....................................................................................................................................193
3A
B C
Plate I: Aerial view from NO on the BIOTREE site Mehrstedt, container with the measurement equipment of the
eddy covariance tower in front (A); eddy covariance tower and meteorological station on the afforestation site
Mehrstedt (B); eddy covariance tower on the grassland site at Mehrstedt.
4C D
Plate II: Representative soil profiles of the Mehrstedt site with a Stagnic Vertisol (A) and the Kaltenborn site with
a Ortoeutric Arenosol (B); fresh sample core (8.7 cm diameter) taken with the machine driven Cobra corer at the
Mehrstedt site (C); Earthworm burrow with casts deposited on the walls in about 35 cm soil depth at the
Mehrstedt site (D).
5A B
100 m
C
Plate III: Historical (1953, A) and recent (2004, B) aerial picture (500x900 m) of the south-western part
of the BIOTREE site Mehrstedt including some experimental plot, non afforested grassland (NW) and
a forest patch (“Steingraben”) planted in 1930-33 with spruce and pine (by courtesy of the Thüringer
Landesamt für Vermessung und Geoinformation); site preparation on the former grassland of the
Mehrstedt site with deep ploughing of the planting rows (2m distance)(C).
61. Introduction and hypotheses
1. Introduction and hypotheses
Land use is a key factor controlling the carbon (C) dynamics of the biosphere (Cannell et
al., 1999; Guo and Gifford, 2002; IPCC, 2000). On the one hand, land use affects the net
primary productivity NPP (C input) of an ecosystem by fertilisation, melioration, harvest
and disturbance frequency and intensity. On the other hand, C loss by harvest and
C-leaching with seepage water and C exchange with the atmosphere as CO and other trace 2
gases is directly linked to the land use. The CO exchange between land surface and the 2
atmosphere has become a major concern in relation to the observed and predicted climate
change (IPCC, 2000). 15 times more C is turned over by the terrestrial biosphere than C is
emitted by human activities (IPCC, 2007; Schimel, 1995).
About 50-70% of total C in European forests and more than 95% in grasslands is stored
as soil organic carbon (Dixon et al., 1994; Mund and Schulze, 2006; Nöllert, 2003). If land
use change, such as the conversion of grassland into forest only slightly affects soil C stocks,
it can have significant effects on the total C balance of the system and its CO emissions. 2
-1 -1C accumulation in soils is a rather slow process rarely exceeding 1 t C ha a in the long
term whereas soil disturbances (e.g. ploughing, wind throw, fire) can cause a rapid soil C loss
(Guo and Gifford, 2002; Jandl et al., 2007; Soussana et al., 2004). This asymmetrical dynamic
was summarized as the “slow in - fast out” feature of ecosystems (Körner, 2003), pointing to
the fact that soil C pools are sensible and could possibly release large amounts of CO into 2
the atmosphere without having an mechanism to re-capture this CO at similar rates.2
Most studies on afforestations found decreasing mineral soil C stocks during the first
years to decades after forest establishment (Guo and Gifford, 2002; Paul et al., 2002; Post
and Kwon, 2000; Thuille and Schulze, 2006). A literature review on the effect of
-1afforestations on soil C reported decreasing soil C stocks with 0.63% a for <30 cm soil
depth during the first 5 years since conversion into forest (Paul et al., 2002). Afforestations
-1on grasslands showed especially high soil C losses of 0.28 % a or 10% decreased soil
C stocks after a non-defined time period (Guo and Gifford, 2002; Paul et al., 2002). The
mechanisms behind this decline are still unclear. Decreased C-input of fine roots when
herbaceous vegetation is suppressed by tree shading or damaged by site preparation may be
one mechanism of how afforestations lead to declining soil C stocks (Thuille and Schulze,
2006). Other studies relate C losses of young afforestations to enhanced mineralisation due
to the disturbance during site preparation (Harkness and Harrison, 1989).
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1. Introduction and hypotheses
This thesis is part of the long-term research experiment “Biodiversity and ecosystem
functioning in experimental tree stands” (BIOTREE) which was set up to investigate the
influence of tree diversity on processes in ecosystems. On three sites in Thuringia a total of
70 ha were planted with more than 200 000 tree seedlings, providing the possibility to study
the C dynamics of young afforestations. This thesis serves as a baseline for further studies in
this unique experiment which has an expected running time of 100 years. The design and the
characteristics of the three sites are presented in manuscript 1 (in press, PPEES) (Fig. 1).
The establishment of experimental plots with certain mixtures out of 19 different tree
species was a critical endeavour. Different factors such as summer drought and damages by
voles and rabbits put a risk on the establishment success of the trees (manuscript 2, AFJZ
2007).
BIOTREE method (manuscript 1)
Climate, soil, geology, experimental design
Eddy fluxes and productivity (manuscript 4)
Net Biome Productivity (NBP)
Net Ecosystem Productivity (NEP)
CO2
Gross Primary
Productivity
CO CO CO CO22 2 2PS-products
Plant
Respiration
Tree establishment
(manuscript 2) C heterogenity
(manuscript 5)Growth
Biomass
Historical land use change
(manuscript 3)
Soil Organic Matter
Heterogenity
Wood- & Litter
Farm-
products
Bioturbation
subsoil SOC
Earthworm´s impact
on SOC (manuscript 6)
Figure 1: Schematic representation of the afforestation carbon cycle and the related manuscripts
of this thesis (orange boxes). Arrows indicate fluxes; yellow boxes indicate pools. R : heterotrophic h
respiration by soil organisms, PS: photosynthesis (modified after Schulze et al., 2000).
8
H
a
r
v
e
s
t
Carbon losses off site
R
h (Litter)
R
h (SOC)1. Introduction and hypotheses
Each setback due to browsing during tree establishment diminishes the possible C sink
of the afforestation. The main additional C sink of afforestations is due to increased
C stocks of the biomass because of slow C accumulation or even C loss in soils (Post and
Kwon, 2000; Richter et al., 1999; Thuille and Schulze, 2006). In a long-term study on pine
afforestations less than 1% of C accretion was found in the mineral soil but 80% in the trees
(Richter et al., 1999). However, major native tree species are not adapted to grow on open
filed sites in competition with the herbaceous vegetation. It was investigated how forest
establishment success depends on the tree species and how it can be explained with a set of
biotic and abiotic factors.
Land use changes can exert a long lasting effect on the soil C dynamics (Cannell et al.,
1999; Guo and Gifford, 2002; Larionova et al., 2003). Mean soil C stocks in Central Europe
-1 -1increase from cropland (less than 45 t ha ) to grassland and forest (both nearly 70 t ha )
(Arrouays et al., 2001; estimates for France). After conversion of one land use type into
another, the corresponding soil C stocks are expected to adjust within a time period of some
decades. During this limited transitional time after conversion soils may sequester C when
the established land use type stores more C than the former one. Beside different
stabilisation mechanism the location in soils where litter C is deposited is crucial for
soil C dynamics. Turnover rates of root litter were found to decrease with increasing soil
depth due to more mineral surfaces available in subsoils to stabilize C with adsorptive
bondages (Gill and Burke, 2002; Lorenz and Lal, 2005). Thus, in manuscript 3 (submitted to
Journal of Plant nutrition and Soil science) the following hypothesis are tested: i) Land use
change from cropland to grassland 21 (Mehrstedt) and 27 (Kaltenborn) years ago increased
soil C stocks, ii) a reshaped C profile with more C at the soil surface soil than in deeper soil
horizons influences soil C stability. Soil C dynamics as influences by this historical land use
change will influence future soil C trajectories.
Current C dynamics cannot be assessed with soil- and biomass inventories only but has
to be measured as C fluxes in continuous mode. The eddy covariance technique provides a
powerful tool to measure CO fluxes integrated over field sites of several hectares. With 2
parallel measurements on the afforestation site Mehrstedt and adjacent grassland site, the
impact of site preparation and management changes was detectable (manuscript 4, submitted
to Global Change Biology). Due to the disturbance of the afforestation site during site
preparation and changes in management practices both assimilation and respiration fluxes
91. Introduction and hypotheses
will be affected. The hypothesis was tested that site preparation with deep ploughing of the
planting rows enhanced soil C mineralisation and lead to C losses on the afforestation site.
Future effects of tree diversity on soil C stocks are going to be investigated with soil
C inventories. Major obstacles in detecting C stocks changes are the high spatial and vertical
heterogeneity of soil C (Conant and Paustian, 2002; Ellert et al., 2001). The lack of
knowledge on long-term soil C stock changes is party due to the low statistical power when
soils are sampled only at single representative profiles or with insufficient sample
replications. In this thesis a comprehensive soil C survey was conducted at the sites
Mehrstedt and Kaltenborn (manuscript 5, Geoderma, 2007). It was hypothesised that
knowledge on the spatial and vertical variability of bulk density and C concentration in soils
can be used to identify underlying processes of soil C accumulation and to develop an
optimized sampling design for soil C inventories.
Land use change will go along with a change in soil fauna that directly affects the C cycle
(Wardle, 1995; Wolters, 2000). There is hardly any other species group with such an impact
-1 -1on soil C dynamics as earthworms. Earthworms consume up to 2000 kg litter ha yr from
the soil surface, ingest, grind and digest it and transport it into the mineral soil. In particular,
deep-burrowing anecic earthworms are capable of building burrows of up to 3 m depth
(Hale et al., 2005), which they line with organic detritus by casting (Edwards and Bohlen,
1996). However, the long-term effect of earthworms on soil C dynamics is unclear. Whereas
C turnover in earthworm casts was found to be enhanced (Tiunov and Scheu, 2000), other
authors found organic carbon to be stabilised in aggregates of the casts (Bossuyt et al.,
2005). Intimate mixture of minerals and organic C was expected to enhance the stabilisation
of soil C. The hypotheses was challenged that the C turnover in earthworm casts deposited
on burrow walls is reduced compared to the surrounding non-affected soil (manuscript 6,
submitted to Soil Biology and Biochemistry).
C dynamics of the investigated afforestation sites of the BIOTREE experiment are
influenced by different biotic and abiotic processes which can only be assessed using a
variety of different methods. This thesis focused on the pedon to plot scale of two field sites
with the aim to quantity C dynamics of the young afforestations and to provide a basis for
further research in the BIOTREE experiment.
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