Thinning enhances forest soil C storage by shifting the soil toward an oligotrophic condition

verfasst von
Jaehyun Lee, Xue Zhou, Sang Tae Lee, Yerang Yang, Jeongeun Yun, Hojeong Kang, Hyun Ho Lee

Forests are significant carbon reservoirs, with approximately one-third of this carbon stored in the soil. Forest thinning, a prevalent management technique, is designed to enhance timber production, preserve biodiversity, and maintain ecosystem functions. Through its influence on biotic and abiotic factors, thinning can profoundly alter soil carbon storage. Yet, the full implications of thinning on forest soil carbon reservoirs and the mechanisms underpinning these changes remain elusive. In this study, we undertook a two-year monitoring initiative, tracking changes in soil extracellular enzyme activities (EEAs), microbial communities, and other abiotic parameters across four thinning intensities within a temperate pine forest. Our results show a marked increase in soil carbon stock following thinning. However, thinning also led to decreased dissolved organic carbon (DOC) content and a reduced DOC to soil organic carbon (SOC) ratio, pointing toward a decline in soil carbon lability. Additionally, fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis revealed an augmented relative abundance of aromatic compounds after thinning. There was also a pronounced increase in absolute EEAs (per gram of dry soil) post-thinning, implying nutrient limitations for soil microbes. Concurrently, the composition of bacterial and fungal communities shifted toward oligotrophic dominance post thinning. Specific EEAs (per gram of soil organic matter) exhibit a significant reduction following thinning, indicating a deceleration in organic matter decomposition rates. In essence, our findings reveal that thinning transitions soil toward an oligotrophic state, dampening organic matter decomposition, and thus bolstering the soil carbon storage potential of forest. This study provides enhanced insights into the nuanced relationship between thinning practices and forest soil carbon dynamics, serving as a robust foundation for enlightened forest management strategies.

Institut für Mikrobiologie
Externe Organisation(en)
Yonsei University
Korea Institute of Science and Technology
Hohai University
National Institute of Forest Science (NiFoS)
Science of the Total Environment
Anzahl der Seiten
ASJC Scopus Sachgebiete
Environmental engineering, Umweltchemie, Abfallwirtschaft und -entsorgung, Umweltverschmutzung
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