Soil carbon and nitrogen changes under Douglas-fir with and without red alder

Andreas Rothe, Kermit Cromack, Sigrid C. Resh, Ender Makineci, Yowhan Son

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51 Citations (Scopus)


We sampled pure Douglas-fir (DF) [Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco] and mixed red alder (Alnus rubra Bong.)(RA) and DF (RA/DF) stands in 1980 and in 1999 to investigate the influence of RA on soil C and N pools. In RA/DF plots with 25% RA, the soil N pool to a 45-cm depth increased significantly (P < 0.05) by 190 g N m-2, corresponding to 10 g N m-2 yr-1 accretion. The average between treatment soil N difference in 1999 was 166 g m-2, representing N accretion of 8.7 g m-2 yr-1. In pure DF plots, the soil N pool remained nearly constant. Resin N mineralization in RA/DF plots was about ten fold greater than on pure DF plots, but the enhanced resin N availability did not affect DF foliar N concentration. Temporal plot pairing was necessary within this landscape with high spatial variability to detect significant changes in soil N pools, and only large effects, such as N addition by RA, could be identified with statistical significance. Minimum detectable difference (MDD) estimates for mean total soil C differences in RA/DF plots showed that it would require about 30 more years of C accretion to detect differences at P < 0.05. Conversely, total soil N accretion in RA/DF plots was 28% greater than the MDD after 19 yr.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1988-1995
Number of pages8
JournalSoil Science Society of America Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science


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