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Effect of Litter Fall on Soil Nutrient Content and pH, and its Consequences in View of Climate Change (Síkf

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Author(s): TÓTH, János Attila | NAGY, Péter Tamás | KRAKOMPERGER, Zsolt | VERES, Zsuzsa | KOTROCZÓ, Zsolt | KINCSES, Sándorné | FEKETE, István | PAPP, Mária | LAJTHA, Kate

Journal: Acta Silvatica & Lignaria Hungarica
ISSN 1786-691X

Volume: 7;
Start page: 75;
Date: 2011;

Keywords: oak forest | DIRT | Sikfokut Project | litter production | soil nutrient

ABSTRACT
In the DIRT (Detritus Input and Removal Treatment) field experiments established at theSíkfkút Site (North Hungary) in October 2000, an experiment was initiated to study the long-termeffects of litter quality and quantity on pH and nutrient content (organic carbon, N forms, PO43–, K+,Mg2+, Ca2+) of soil in a Quercetum petraeae-cerris forest. An eight-year litter manipulationdemonstrated a close connection between the changes in pH and Mg2+ and Ca2+ concentration. Thedecline of litter production, the decrease of the soil pH due to lower Mg2+ and Ca2+ input lead toconsequent reduction of soil buffering capacity. The acidification interferes with the decompositionprocess of litter and humus compounds. Our results suggest decreases in organic matter content, totalN, Ca2+ and Mg2+ concentrations in the soil as a consequence of decline in forest litter productioninduced by climate change and a resulting degradation of the soil over a longer period.
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