Nitrogen deposition influences nitrogen isotope composition in soil and needles of Pinus massoniana forests along an urban-rural gradient in the Pearl River Delta of south China

Kuang, Yuanwen, Sun, Fangfang, Wen, Dazhi, Xu, Zhihong, Huang, Longbin and Li, Jiong (2011) Nitrogen deposition influences nitrogen isotope composition in soil and needles of Pinus massoniana forests along an urban-rural gradient in the Pearl River Delta of south China. Journal of Soils and Sediments, 11 4: 589-595. doi:10.1007/s11368-011-0342-7


Author Kuang, Yuanwen
Sun, Fangfang
Wen, Dazhi
Xu, Zhihong
Huang, Longbin
Li, Jiong
Title Nitrogen deposition influences nitrogen isotope composition in soil and needles of Pinus massoniana forests along an urban-rural gradient in the Pearl River Delta of south China
Formatted title
Nitrogen deposition influences nitrogen isotope composition in soil and needles of Pinus massoniana forests along an urban-rural gradient in the Pearl River Delta of south China
Journal name Journal of Soils and Sediments   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1439-0108
1614-7480
Publication date 2011-06-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s11368-011-0342-7
Open Access Status
Volume 11
Issue 4
Start page 589
End page 595
Total pages 7
Place of publication Heidelberg, Germany
Publisher Springer
Formatted abstract
Purpose: Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition remains globally and regionally a significant N source in forest ecosystems, with intensive industrial activities. Stable N isotope ratio (δ15N) is a useful indicator widely adopted to assess environmental and ecological impacts of anthropogenic N inputs. On the basis of temporal changes in tree ring δ15N established recently, the present study investigated the influence of N deposition on δ15N in needles of Masson pine (Pinus massoniana L.) and forest soil along an urban-rural gradient in the Pearl River Delta of south China.
Materials and methods: Soil and needle samples were selected from South China Botanical Garden (SBG) in Guangzhou, Ding Hu Shan Natural Reserve (DHS) in Zhaoqing, and Nan Kun Shan Natural Reserve (NKS) in Huizhou. Five soil profiles at each site were sampled at three horizons: organic horizon (Oa), 0-10 and 10-20 cm depths, underneath the selected Masson pine trees. Soil samples were air-dried and sieved through 2 mm for analysis. Current-year and previous-year needles of Masson pine were collected from outer branches of the middle canopy at south, west, east, and north directions, and pooled according to needle age for each tree. Needles were rinsed, dried, ground, and stored in desiccator before analysis. Nitrogen isotope ratios were determined by Finnigan isotope mass spectrometer.
Results and discussion: Significant differences in soils (Oa and 0-10 cm depth layers) and needles along the urban-rural gradient were revealed with positively high δ15N values (+2.19 ± 1.43‰ in Oa, +6.67 ± 1.52‰ in 0-10 cm depth layer and about +1.0‰ in needles) at the rural site (NKS) and negatively low δ15N values (-5.51 ± 1.38‰ in Oa, -1.11 ± 1.36‰ in 0-10 cm depth layer and about -5.0‰ in needles) at the highest N deposition site (SBG). Needles exposed to high N deposition had significantly different δ15N values between age classes. The results suggested that atmospheric N deposition density contributed to the patterns of δ15N in soil and needles of Pinus massoniana along the urban-rural gradient.
Conclusions: The detectably decreasing trends of δ15N observed in the soils and pine needles from NKS to SBG implied that N deposition has influenced the forests N isotope composition. The patterns of soil- and needle-δ15N of Masson pine might be closely related to N deposition intensity. Values of δ15N in soils and needles were indicative of the gradient of urban-rural N deposition in the Pearl River Delta of south China.
Keyword δ15N
Forest soil
Nitrogen deposition
Pine needle
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Sustainable Minerals Institute Publications
 
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