The impact of six European tree species on the chemistry of mineral topsoil in forest plantations on former agricultural land

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Influences on mineral topsoils of common European tree species (oak-Quercus robur L., lime-Tilia cordata Mill., ash-Fraxinus excelsior L., birch-Betula pendula Roth., beech-Fagus sylvatica L. and spruce-Picea abies (L.) Karst.) were studied in 30 to 40-year-old stands planted in adjacent plots on former arable land. Mineral soil samples from two depth layers (0-10 and 20-30 cm) under the different species were compared in terms of pH, base saturation, pools and concentrations of exchangeable macro- and micronutrients, total nitrogen and carbon. With the exception of pH (H2O) and extractable Al and Fe, no significant differences between species were detected in the lower layer. The upper (0-10 cm) layer was, however, affected differently depending on tree species: significant differences in pH, base saturation, exchangeable base cations and other nutrients were observed. The most prominent differences were between lime and spruce. Lime had considerably higher pH, base saturation, base cation and boron pools compared to spruce, which had the most acidifying effect on the mineral topsoils. Among the deciduous species, beech had the most similar effect to spruce on the upper layer of mineral topsoils. Soil C, N and C/N ratios did not differ significantly among species.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ecology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-384
JournalForest Ecology and Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Publication categoryResearch