Soil Research Soil Research Society
Soil, land care and environmental research
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Long-term effects of afforestation with Pinus radiata on soil carbon, nitrogen, and pH: a case study

R. L. Parfitt A C and D. J. Ross A B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Landcare Research, Private Bag 11052, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

B Deceased.

C Corresponding author. Email: Parfittr@landcareresearch.co.nz

Soil Research 49(6) 494-503 https://doi.org/10.1071/SR11106
Submitted: 10 May 2011  Accepted: 21 July 2011   Published: 25 August 2011

Abstract

Planting of Pinus radiata D. Don in previously grazed pastures is a common land-use change in New Zealand. Although carbon (C) accumulates relatively rapidly in the trees, there have been no studies of the annual effect on soil C content during the early years of establishment. Here, we study soil properties under P. radiata and pasture each year over 11 years after P. radiata was planted into pasture that had been grazed by sheep. Under the growing trees, grass was gradually shaded out by the unpruned trees, and completely disappeared after 6 years; needle litterfall had then increased appreciably. By year 9, soil microbial C and nitrogen (N), and net N mineralisation, were significantly lower under pine than under pasture. Soil pH, sampled at 0–100 mm in early spring each year, decreased by ~0.3 units under pine and increased by ~0.3 units under pasture. Close to the pine stems, total C and N decreased significantly for 3 years, while ~100 kg N/ha accumulated in the trees. Soil C and N increased in subsequent years, when litterfall increased. Overall, the mineral soil under pine lost ~500 kg N/ha over 11 years, consistent with uptake by the trees. Leaching losses (estimated using lysimeters) in year 9 were 4.5 kg N/ha.year. These data indicate that ~6 Mg C/ha may have been lost from the mineral soil at this site. The difficulties associated with measuring losses of C are discussed.

Additional keywords: ammonium, land-use change, microbial biomass, nitrate, pasture, phosphate, reforestation.


References

Allen RG, Pereira LS, Dirk R, Smith M (1998) ‘Crop evapotranspiration: guidelines for computing crop water requirements.’ FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper No. 56. (FAO: Rome)

Anon (1992) Weed control increases radiata pine productivity. What’s New in Forest Research Bulletin No. 220. Forest Research Institute, Rotorua, New Zealand.

Berthrong ST, Jobbagy EG, Jackson RB (2009) A global meta-analysis of soil exchangeable cations, pH, carbon, and nitrogen with afforestation. Ecological Applications 19, 2228–2241.
A global meta-analysis of soil exchangeable cations, pH, carbon, and nitrogen with afforestation.CrossRef | open url image1

Birk EM (1992) Nitrogen availability in radiata pine plantations on former pasture sites in southern New South Wales. Plant and Soil 143, 115–125.
Nitrogen availability in radiata pine plantations on former pasture sites in southern New South Wales.CrossRef | open url image1

Blakemore LC, Searle PL, Daly BK (1987) Methods for chemical analysis of soils. Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Zealand Soil Bureau Scientific Report No. 80.

Bolan NS, Hedley MJ, White RE (1991) Processes of soil acidification during nitrogen cycling with emphasis on legume based pastures. Plant and Soil 134, 53–63.

Chamberlain FM, McNamara NP, Chaplow J, Stott AW, Black HIJ (2006) Translocation of surface litter carbon into soil by Collembola. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 38, 2655–2664.
Translocation of surface litter carbon into soil by Collembola.CrossRef | open url image1

Cooper AB, Hewitt JE, Cooke JG (1987) Land use impacts on stream water nitrogen and phosphorus. New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science 17, 179–192.

Davis MR (1994) Topsoil properties under tussock grassland soil and adjoining pine forest in Otago. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research 37, 465–469.
Topsoil properties under tussock grassland soil and adjoining pine forest in Otago.CrossRef | open url image1

Davis MR, Condron LM (2002) Impact of grassland afforestation on soil carbon in New Zealand: a review of paired-site studies. Australian Journal of Soil Research 40, 675–690.
Impact of grassland afforestation on soil carbon in New Zealand: a review of paired-site studies.CrossRef | open url image1

Frederick DJ, Madgwick HAI, Jurgensen MF, Oliver GR (1985) Dry matter, energy, and nutrient contents of 8-year-old stands of Eucalyptus regnans, Acacia dealbata and Pinus radiata in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science 15, 142–157.

Frey SD, Six J, Elliot ET (2003) Reciprocal transfer of carbon and nitrogen by decomposer fungi at the soil–litter interface. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 35, 1001–1004.
Reciprocal transfer of carbon and nitrogen by decomposer fungi at the soil–litter interface.CrossRef | open url image1

Giddens KM, Parfitt RL, Percival HJ (1997) Comparison of some soil properties under Pinus radiata and improved pasture. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research 40, 409–416.
Comparison of some soil properties under Pinus radiata and improved pasture.CrossRef | open url image1

Guo LB, Gifford RM (2002) Soil carbon stocks and land use change: a meta analysis. Global Change Biology 8, 345–360.
Soil carbon stocks and land use change: a meta analysis.CrossRef | open url image1

Hewitt A (1998) ‘New Zealand Soil Classification.’ Landcare Research Science Series No. 1. 2nd edn (Manaaki Whenua Press: Lincoln, New Zealand)

Jenkinson DS (1988) Determination of microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen in soils. In ‘Advances in nitrogen cycling in agricultural ecosystems’. (Ed. JR Wilson) pp. 368–386. (CAB International: Wallingford, UK)

Kirschbaum MUF, Guo LB, Gifford RM (2008a) Why does rainfall affect the trend in soil carbon after converting pastures to forests? A possible explanation based on nitrogen dynamics. Forest Ecology and Management 255, 2990–3000.
Why does rainfall affect the trend in soil carbon after converting pastures to forests? A possible explanation based on nitrogen dynamics.CrossRef | open url image1

Kirschbaum MUF, Guo LB, Gifford RM (2008b) Observed and modelled soil carbon and nitrogen changes after planting a Pinus radiata stand onto former pasture. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 40, 247–257.
Observed and modelled soil carbon and nitrogen changes after planting a Pinus radiata stand onto former pasture.CrossRef | open url image1

Kirschbaum MUF, Trotter C, Wakelin S, Baisden T, Curtin D, Dymond J, Ghani A, Jones H, Deurer M, Arnold G, Beets P, Davis M, Hedley C, Peltzer D, Ross C, Schipper L, Sutherland A, Wang H, Beare M, Clothier B, Mason N, Ward M (2009) Carbon stocks and changes in New Zealand’s soils and forests, and implications of post-2012 accounting options for land-based emissions offsets and mitigation opportunities. Landcare Research Contract Report LC0708/174 to MAF Policy. Available at: www.landcareresearch.co.nz/publications/researchpubs/LULUCF_Report_Apr_09.pdf.

Laganiére J, Angers DA, Paré D (2010) Carbon accumulation in agricultural soils after afforestation: a meta-analysis. Global Change Biology 16, 439–453.
Carbon accumulation in agricultural soils after afforestation: a meta-analysis.CrossRef | open url image1

Landcare Research (2009) Environmental Chemistry Laboratory Tests. Available at: www.landcareresearch.co.nz/services/laboratories/eclab/eclabtest_list.asp

Macdonald CA, Thomas N, Robinson L, Tate KR, Ross DJ, Dando J, Singh BK (2009) Physiological, biochemical and molecular responses of the soil microbial community after afforestation of pastures with Pinus radiata. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 41, 1642–1651.
Physiological, biochemical and molecular responses of the soil microbial community after afforestation of pastures with Pinus radiata.CrossRef | open url image1

Madgwick HAI (1994) ‘Pinus radiata—biomass, form and growth.’ (Madgwick: Rotorua, New Zealand)

McDowell WH, Likens GE (1988) Origin, composition and flux of dissolved organic carbon in the Hubbard Brook valley. Ecological Monographs 58, 177–195.
Origin, composition and flux of dissolved organic carbon in the Hubbard Brook valley.CrossRef | open url image1

MfE (2008) Net Position Report 2008: Projected balance of Kyoto Protocol units during the first commitment period. Appendix C: Land use, land-use change and forestry sector emissions projections. (Ministry for the Environment: Wellington) Available at: www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/climate/net-position-report-projected-balance-emissions-may08/net-position-report-projected-balance-emissions-may08.pdf

Parfitt RL, Newman RH (2000) 13C NMR study of pine needle decomposition. Plant and Soil 219, 273–278.
13C NMR study of pine needle decomposition.CrossRef | open url image1

Parfitt RL, Thomson NA, Roberts AHC, Cook FJ (1985) Water use, irrigation and pasture production on Stratford silt loam. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research 28, 393–401.

Parfitt RL, Percival HJ, Dahlgren RA, Hill LF (1997) Soil and solution chemistry under pasture and radiata pine in New Zealand. Plant and Soil 191, 279–290.
Soil and solution chemistry under pasture and radiata pine in New Zealand.CrossRef | open url image1

Parfitt RL, Ross DJ, Hill LF (2003) Soil nitrogen mineralization changes rapidly when pine is planted into herbicide-treated pasture – the first two years of growth. Australian Journal of Soil Research 41, 459–469.
Soil nitrogen mineralization changes rapidly when pine is planted into herbicide-treated pasture – the first two years of growth.CrossRef | open url image1

Parfitt RL, Yeates GW, Ross DJ, Schon NL, McKay AD, Wardle DA (2010) Effect of fertilisers, herbicides and grazing management of pastures on plant and soil communities. Applied Soil Ecology 45, 175–186.
Effect of fertilisers, herbicides and grazing management of pastures on plant and soil communities.CrossRef | open url image1

Paul KI, Polglase PJ, Nyakuengama JG, Khanna PK (2002) Change in soil carbon following afforestation review. Forest Ecology and Management 168, 241–257.
Change in soil carbon following afforestation review.CrossRef | open url image1

Perrott KW, Ghani A, O’Connor MB, Waller JE (1999) Tree stocking effects on soil chemical properties of the Tikitere agroforestry research area. New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science 29, 116–130.

Quinn JM, Ritter E (2003) Effects of land use and pine forest logging on stream nutrients at Purukohukohu, Central North Island. In ‘Proceedings and Report. Rotorua Lakes 2003: Practical Management for Good Lake Water Quality’. (Eds NC Miller, EM Miller) pp. 149–157. (Lakes Water Quality Society: Rotorua, New Zealand)

Richardson B, Vanner A, Davenhill N, Balneaves J, Miller K, Ray J (1993) Interspecific competition between Pinus radiata and some common weed species: first-year results. New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science 23, 179–193.

Ross DJ, Tate KR, Scott NA, Feltham CW (1999) Land-use change: effects on soil carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus pools and fluxes in three adjacent ecosystems. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 31, 803–813.
Land-use change: effects on soil carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus pools and fluxes in three adjacent ecosystems.CrossRef | open url image1

Ross DJ, Tate KR, Scott NA, Wilde RH, Rodda NJ, Townsend JA (2002) Afforestation of pastures with Pinus radiata influences soil carbon and nitrogen pools and mineralization and microbial properties. Australian Journal of Soil Research 40, 1303–1318.
Afforestation of pastures with Pinus radiata influences soil carbon and nitrogen pools and mineralization and microbial properties.CrossRef | open url image1

Ross DJ, Newton PCD, Tate KR (2004) Elevated CO2 effects on herbage production and soil carbon and nitrogen pools and mineralization in a species-rich, grazed pasture on a seasonally dry sand. Plant and Soil 260, 183–196.
Elevated CO2 effects on herbage production and soil carbon and nitrogen pools and mineralization in a species-rich, grazed pasture on a seasonally dry sand.CrossRef | open url image1

Scott NA, Parfitt RL, Ross DJ, Salt GJ (1998) Carbon and nitrogen transformations in New Zealand plantation forest soils from sites with different N status. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 28, 967–976.
Carbon and nitrogen transformations in New Zealand plantation forest soils from sites with different N status.CrossRef | open url image1

Scott NA, Tate KR, Ross DJ, Parshotam A (2006) Processes influencing soil carbon storage following afforestation of pasture with Pinus radiata at different stocking densities in New Zealand. Australian Journal of Soil Research 44, 85–96.
Processes influencing soil carbon storage following afforestation of pasture with Pinus radiata at different stocking densities in New Zealand.CrossRef | open url image1

Singh BK, Tate KR, Ross DJ, Singh J, Dando J, Thomas N, Millard P, Murrell JC (2009) Soil methane oxidation and methanotroph responses to afforestation of pastures with Pinus radiata stands. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 41, 2196–2205.
Soil methane oxidation and methanotroph responses to afforestation of pastures with Pinus radiata stands.CrossRef | open url image1

Soil Survey Staff (1999) ‘Soil Taxonomy. A basic system of soil classification for making and interpreting soil surveys.’ USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Agricultural Handbook No. 436. 2nd edn (US Government Printing Office: Washington, DC)

Tate KR, Lambie SM, Ross DJ, Dando J (2011) Carbon transfer from 14C-labelled needles to mineral soil, and 14C-CO2 production, in a young Pinus radiata stand. European Journal of Soil Science 62, 127–133.
Carbon transfer from 14C-labelled needles to mineral soil, and 14C-CO2 production, in a young Pinus radiata stand.CrossRef | open url image1



Rent Article (via Deepdyve) Export Citation Cited By (11)