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Can tree species richness attenuate the effect of drought on organic matter decomposition and stabilization in young plantation forests?

Abstract : Changes in precipitation due to climate change are likely to influence soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition and stabilization. In forests, increased tree species diversity could modulate the effects of drought on SOM decomposition and stabilization. We addressed this issue by a decomposition study under simulated drought (through precipitation reduction at Zedelgem, Belgium) and natural drought (ORPHEE, southern France) in young experimental plantations (tree species richness 1 to 5). In Zedelgem, the study focused on tree species richness around oak and beech trees. Two tea bag indices (TBI) – decomposition rate (k) and stabilization factor (S) – were calculated by measuring the decay of green and rooibos tea in soils. Overall, TBI's were higher in Zedelgem than at ORPHEE. In Zedelgem, k increased with tree species richness under drought around oak, indicating that tree species richness modulated the effects of drought on decomposition. Under beech, k decreased with drought while no effect of tree species richness was detected. S increased with drought under both oak and beech, without any effect of tree species richness. In ORPHEE, we did not detect any tree species richness effect on both TBIs. S decreased significantly, while k was marginally reduced under drought. The higher S under drought in Zedelgem and under control in OPRHEE suggests that the carbon sequestration potential under climate change would be dependent on the environmental context. Further, in young plantations, high species richness may modulate the drought effect on SOM decomposition, but not on stabilization.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02620952
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 26, 2020 - 12:28:32 AM
Last modification on : Friday, July 9, 2021 - 12:02:03 PM

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Md Masudur Rahman, Bastien Castagneyrol, Kris Verheyen, Herve Jactel, Monique Carnol. Can tree species richness attenuate the effect of drought on organic matter decomposition and stabilization in young plantation forests?. Acta Oecologica, Elsevier, 2018, 93, pp.30-40. ⟨10.1016/j.actao.2018.10.008⟩. ⟨hal-02620952⟩

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