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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract - FOREST, RANGE & WILDLAND SOILS

Nitrogen Mineralization in Riparian Soils along a River Continuum within a Multi-Land-Use Basin


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 75 No. 2, p. 719-728
    Received: Apr 7, 2010

    * Corresponding author(s): daniel76@vt.edu
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  1. Daniel M. Evans *ab,
  2. Stephen H. Schoenholtzac,
  3. Parker J. Wigingtond and
  4. Stephen M. Griffithe
  1. a Forest Engineering, Resources and, Management Dep. Oregon State Univ. Corvallis, OR 97331
    b Current Address: Dep. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation Virginia Tech 228 Cheatham Hall Blacksburg, VA 24061
    c Current Address: Virginal Water Resources Research Center, Virginia Tech, 210 Cheatham Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061
    d USDA-EPA, National Health and Environmental Research Lab. Western Ecology Division, 200 S.W. 25th St.Corvallis, OR 97333
    e USDA-ARS, 3450 S.W. Campus Way, Corvallis, OR 97331


Nitrogen dynamics in riparian systems are often addressed within one land-use type and are rarely studied on watershed scales across multiple land uses. This study tested for temporal trends and watershed-wide spatial patterns in N mineralization and identified site factors related to N mineralization. We measured net N mineralization in situ at monthly intervals for 1 yr at 32 riparian sites along the 124-km length of the Calapooia River, Oregon. We observed seasonal trends of mean net N mineralization with relatively low rates in the fall (29.8 kg N ha−1 yr−1) and winter (30.1 kg N ha−1 yr−1) and relatively high rates in the spring (122.1 kg N ha−1 yr−1) and summer (99.7 kg N ha−1 yr−1) when conditions for microbial activity and decomposition were likely enhanced. Annual net N mineralization on an area basis ranged from −13.5 to 234.0 kg N ha−1 yr−1 with a mean for all sites of 50.1 kg N ha−1 yr−1 Annual net N mineralization per kilogram of soil ranged from −16.2 to 207.1 mg N kg soil−1 yr−1, with a mean for all sites of 64.4 mg N kg soil−1 yr−1 Regression analysis revealed hardwood basal area and coverage of grass as significant positive predictors of kilograms of N mineralized per hectare. Location along the river explained 22% of the variability of N mineralization per hectare, indicating that riparian areas may function differently along the length of the river.

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