tropical soils

Effects of carbon additions on iron reduction and phosphorus availability in a humid tropical forest soil

Liptzin, D., and Silver,W.L. (2009) Effects of carbon additions
on iron reduction and phosphorus availability in a humid
tropical forest soil. Soil Biol Biochem 41: 1696–1702.

Abstract: 
chemical cycling through its interactions with carbon (C) and phosphorus (P).We used a laboratory study to explore the role of C quantity and quality in Fe reduction and associated P mobilization in tropical forest soils. Soils were incubated under an ambient atmosphere headspace (room air) with multiple levels of leaf litter leachate or acetate additions. Net Fe reduction occurred in all the treatments and at every time point. The more complex mixture of organic compounds in leaf litter leachate stimulated Fe reduction as much acetate, an easily fermentable C source. At the end of the experiment, Fe reduction was generally greater with higher C additions than in the low C additions and controls. The microbial biomass P had increased significantly suggesting rapid microbial uptake of P liberated from Fe. This occurred without increases in the available (NaHCO3) P pool. The immobilization of P by microbes during the incubation provides a P conservation mechanism in these soils with fluctuating redox potential, and may ultimately stimulate more C cycling in these highly productive ecosystems. Iron cycling appears to be an important source of P for the biota and can contribute significantly to C oxidation in upland tropical forest soils.

Variation in nutrient characteristics of surface soils from the Luquillo Experimental Forest of Puerto Rico: A multivariate perspective

Cox, S. B.; Willig, M. R.; Scatena,F. N.; 2002. Variation in nutrient characteristics of surface soils from the Luquillo Experimental Forest of Puerto Rico: A multivariate perspective.. Plant and Soil 247 : 189-198.

Abstract: 
We assessed the effects of landscape features (vegetation type and topography), season, and spatial hierarchy on the nutrient content of surface soils in the Luquillo Experimental Forest (LEF) of Puerto Rico. Considerable spatial variation characterized the soils of the LEF, and differences between replicate sites within each combination of vegetation type (tabonuco vs. palo colorado vs. dwarf vs. pasture) and topographic position (ridge vs valley) accounted for 11–60% of the total variation in soil properties. Nevertheless, mean soil properties differed significantly among vegetation types, between topographic positions, and between seasons (wet vs dry). Differences among vegetation types reflected soil properties (e.g., bulk density, soil moisture, Na, P, C, N, S) that typically are related to biological processes and inputs of water. In forests, differences between topographic positions reflected elements (e.g., Ca, Mg, K, and Al) that typically are associated with geochemical processes; however, the nutrients and elements responsible for topographic differences in dwarf forest were different from those in other forest types. In pastures, differences between topographic positions were associated with the same soil properties responsible for differences among the other vegetation types. Pastures also had reduced N levels and different soil characteristics compared to undisturbed tabonuco forest. The only soil parameter that differed significantly between seasons was soil moisture. Soils of the LEF do not support the contention that N becomes limiting with an increase in elevation, and suggest that absolute pool sizes of N and P are not responsible for the reduction in productivity with elevation.
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