Differential effects of coarse woody debris on microbial and soil properties in Pinus densiflora Sieb. et Zucc. forests

Seongjun Kim, Guanlin Li, Seung Hyun Han, Hanna Chang, Hyun Jun Kim, Yowhan Son

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Although coarse woody debris (CWD) is important for soil functioning, the mechanism which affects soil properties beneath CWD are unclear. Here, initial changes in microbial and soil properties were studied using homogenous CWD samples in eight Korean red pine (Pinus densiflora Sieb. et Zucc.) forests. For each forest, CWD samples (diameter: 11.1 ± 0.1 cm; length: 10.2 ± 0.0 cm) from similarly aged Korean red pine trees were laid on the mineral soil surface from May to June, 2016, and soils were sampled at points beneath CWD and at a distance of 1 m from the CWD after 1 year. Soils beneath the CWD had higher moisture but lower inorganic nitrogen (N) and a higher microbial biomass C (carbon)/N ratio than those sampled 1 m from the CWD. No differences in total C and N, labile C, pH, and C substrate utilization between the soils were significant. The difference in inorganic N between the soils decreased with increasing CWD decomposition, whereas that for microbial biomass fraction in total C and N increased correspondingly. Our results showed that soil microbial affinity for retaining N might become higher than that for retaining C under the presence of CWD, which possibly alters N availability and generates a spatial heterogeneity in forest soils.

Original languageEnglish
Article number292
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Aug 11

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (2015R1D1A1A01057124). We thank Heejae Jo, Hyungsub Kim, and Jusub Kim of the Korea University for their assistance during field measurements. We also thank Prof. Choonsig Kim of the Gyeongnam National University of Science and Technology for his cooperation during establishment of the southern forest sites.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 by the authors; Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Dead wood
  • EcoPlate
  • Microbial biomass
  • Nitrogen availability
  • Soil carbon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry


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