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Climate response of the soil nitrogen cycle in three forest types of a headwater Mediterranean catchment

AuthorsLupon, Anna ; Gerber, S.; Sabater, Francesc ; Bernal, Susana
Issue Date2015
PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union
CitationJ. Geophys. Res. Biogeosci. 120 : doi:10.1002/2014JG002791 (2015)
AbstractFuture changes in climate may affect soil nitrogen (N) transformations, and consequently, plant nutrition and N losses from terrestrial to stream ecosystems. We investigated the response of soil N cycling to changes in soil moisture, soil temperature, and precipitation across three Mediterranean forest types (evergreen oak, beech, and riparian) by fusing a simple process-based model (which included climate modifiers for key soil N processes) with measurements of soil organic N content, mineralization, nitrification, and concentration of ammonium and nitrate. The model describes sources (atmospheric deposition and net N mineralization) and sinks (plant uptake and hydrological losses) of inorganic N from and to the 0–10 cm soil pool as well as net nitrification. For the three forest types, the model successfully recreated the magnitude and temporal pattern of soil N processes and N concentrations (Nash-Sutcliffe coefficient = 0.49–0.96). Changes in soil water availability drove net N mineralization and net nitrification at the oak and beech forests, while temperature and precipitation were the strongest climatic factors for riparian soil N processes. In most cases, net N mineralization and net nitrification showed a different sensitivity to climatic drivers (temperature, soil moisture, and precipitation). Our model suggests that future climate change may have a minimal effect on the soil N cycle of these forests (<10% change in mean annual rates) because positive warming and negative drying effects on the soil N cycle may counterbalance each other.
Description17 páginas, 6 figuras, 4 tablas.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2014JG002791
Appears in Collections:(CEAB) Artículos
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