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New paper looks at soil dynamics beneath Alice Holt's oak woods

Scientists at Forest Research have published findings of short and long-term changes in soil properties at ECN's Alice Holt site
New paper looks at soil dynamics beneath Alice Holt's oak woods

© Elsevier

A paper published recently in Science of the Total Environment presents short and long-term changes in soil carbon, nitrogen and acidity beneath a 70 year old oak plot in Alice Holt.  The paper by a team from Forest Research also explains increases in carbon and nitrogen stocks and changes in pH.

Using the ECN soil properties protocol, dynamics of soil properties within the forested plot were assessed every five years (1994–2009), by depth and by horizon to identify short term changes in soil carbon and nitrogen stocks, and acidity. The findings were set within a study of long term changes in soil properties in a 180 year chronosequence of oak plots from the same forest.

An increase was detected in soil carbon stocks in the mineral A horizon under the woodland, thought to be related to changes in litterfall and canopy insect activity. Soil nitrogen stock was found to  increase with increasing canopy age under oak woodland. The researchers stress the value of setting short term soil monitoring within a long term (chronosequence) soil assessment.