Slope aspect and altitude effect on selected soil organic matter characteristics in Beskid Mountains forest soils

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Sciendo (De Gruyter)
In the era of dynamic climate change, it is important to have knowledge on the interactions between climatic factors and processes occurring in the soil environment. The present study aimed to determine how slope aspect and altitude above sea level influence carbon and nitrogen accumulation and dehydrogenases activity of forest soils. The study was conducted in the Beskid Żywiecki in the south-facing part of Poland. Soils of the same texture, with similar vegetation species composition, in different altitude variants (600, 800, 1000 and 1200 m above sea level) and different north-facing and south-facing slope aspect were selected for the study. For each height and slope aspect variant, samples were collected from the surface horizons of soils for further analyses. The basic chemical properties and dehydrogenases activity of the soil samples were determined. Carbon and nitrogen stocks in the surface horizons of the soils were calculated. The analyses confirmed the influence of location conditions on the carbon and nitrogen stocks in mountain forest soils. The stock of carbon and nitrogen increased with the height up to 1000 m a.s.l. In the soils at the highest altitude, the reserve of carbon and nitrogen decreased regardless of the slope aspect variant. There were no statistically significant differences in carbon and nitrogen stocks between slope aspect variant. The highest dehydrogenases activity was associated with the organic horizons of the soils at the lowest altitude in height gradient. In our study, higher dehydrogenases activity was observed in the north-facing slope soils, and this finding can be explained by more stable thermal conditions.
© 2021 Karolina Staszel, Ewa Błońska, Jarosław Lasota, published by Sciendo. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. The Version of Scholarly Record of this Article is published in Folia Forestalia Polonica, Series A – Forestry, 2021, Vol. 63 (3), 214–224, available online at: . Keywords: carbon stock; climatic factors; dehydrogenases activity; forest ecosystem; nitrogen stock.
Staszel, K., Błońska, E. & Lasota, J. (2021). Slope aspect and altitude effect on selected soil organic matter characteristics in Beskid Mountains forest soils. Folia Forestalia Polonica, 63(3), 214-224.