Microbial Processes and Features of the Microbiota in Histosols From a Black Alder (Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertn.) Forest

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  • This article was downloaded by: [141.214.17.222]On: 20 October 2014, At: 20:51Publisher: Taylor & FrancisInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number:1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street,London W1T 3JH, UK

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    Microbial Processes andFeatures of the Microbiotain Histosols From a BlackAlder (Alnus glutinosa (L.)Gaertn.) ForestOliver Dilly, Hans-Peter Blume, LudgerKappen, Werner L. Kutsch, Ulrike Middelhoff,Jorg Wotzel, Francois Buscot, Klaus Dittert,Hans-Jurgen Bach, Bernhard Mogge, KarinPritsch, Jean Charles MunchPublished online: 29 Oct 2010.

    To cite this article: Oliver Dilly, Hans-Peter Blume, Ludger Kappen, WernerL. Kutsch, Ulrike Middelhoff, Jorg Wotzel, Francois Buscot, Klaus Dittert,Hans-Jurgen Bach, Bernhard Mogge, Karin Pritsch, Jean Charles Munch (1999)Microbial Processes and Features of the Microbiota in Histosols From a BlackAlder (Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertn.) Forest, Geomicrobiology Journal, 16:1,65-78, DOI: 10.1080/014904599270758

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  • Microbial Processes and Features of theMicrobiota in Histosols From a Black Alder

    (Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertn.) Forest

    OLIVER DILLYHANS-PETER BLUMELUDGER KAPPENWERNER L. KUTSCHULRIKE MIDDELHOFFJ ORG W OTZEL

    Okologie-Zentrum

    Universit at KielKiel, Germany

    FRANC OIS BUSCOT

    Institut f ur Ern ahrung und UmweltUniversit at Jena

    Jena, Germany

    KLAUS DITTERT

    Institut f ur P anzenern ahrung und Bodenkunde

    Universit at Kiel

    Kiel, Germany

    HANS-J URGEN BACHBERNHARD MOGGEKARIN PRITSCHJEAN CHARLES MUNCH

    Institut f ur Boden okologie

    GSFForschungszentrum f ur Umwelt und GesundheitNeuherberg, Germany

    Microbiological features and in situ microbial activities were analyzed in soils at ablack alder forest adjacent to the eutrophic Lake Belau during the course of the in-terdisciplinary program, Ecosystem Research in the Bornh oved Lake District. The

    Received 13 January 1998; accepted 24 September 1998.

    We thank Elke Erlebach, Friederike Sch utze, J orn Sprenger, Mirsad Haskovic, Cathrin Schmidt, Anke

    Buckenauer, Birgit Vogt for their excellent technical assistance; Drs. P. Weppen, O. Heinemeyer, E.-A. Kaiser, and

    T.-H. Anderson (FAL, Braunschweig) for the use of laboratory facilities; Dr. U. Schleu for helpful discussion,

    and Nancy A. Weider-Zehrbach for the improvement of the English. These studies were supported by the German

    Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Technology (BMBF), project no. 0339077E, and the state of

    Schleswig-Holstein.

    Address correspondence to Oliver Dilly, Okologie-Zentrum, Universit at Kiel, Schauenburgerstra e 112,

    24118 Kiel, Germany. E-mail: oliver@pz-oekosys.uni-kiel.de

    Geomicrobiology Journal, 16:6578, 1999

    Copyright C 1999 Taylor & Francis0149-0451/99 $12.00 + .00 65

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  • 66 O. Dilly et al.

    microbiological data were combined to evaluate the functional status of the Histosols.It was hypothesized that carbon accumulation typical for Histosols would mainly takeplace at the wet part ( wet site ) close to the lake shore and not at the drier part( dry site ) of the forest. Rates of leaf litter decomposition, in situ soil C mineraliza-tion, and in situ N2- xation were higher at the wet site. Furthermore, the compositionof the bacterial communities and the presence of ectomycorrhizas indicated suf cientO2 availability and high microbial vitality in the soil at the wet site. An anthropogeniclowering of the lake water table during the 1930s seems still to control the actual soilconditions, resulting in humus degradation in the two Histosols of the forest. The twosoils clearly differed in productivity and C and N cycling, being controlled either byupland, acid runoff or by eutrophic lake water. Lake water seems to buffer but also tointensifymicrobial transformationsat the wet site and to supply nutrients, althoughhu-mus decaymay possiblybe deceleratedby a temporarilyhighwater table and refractoryhumic substances.

    Keywords blackalder forest,carboncycling,Histosol,microbialcommunity,nitrogencycling

    Black alder (Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertn.) forests are widespread throughout NorthernGermany, occurring naturally near rivers and lakesmostly on soils with high organic carbon

    contents. This type of ecosystem was selected for study because human impact regulating

    thewater table severely controls the structure ofwetland ecosystems.Thus, this system lled

    a signi cant and distinct role during the interdisciplinary program, Ecosystem Research

    in the Bornh oved Lake District, which aims to analyze and model structures, dynamics,and functions of terrestrial and limnic ecosystems. Nineteen subprojects have been carried

    out at the alder forests by 11 German research groups.

    Histosols are soil types with net C accumulation over long periods attributable to

    retarded biological degradation of assimilated C caused by high water levels. However, the

    lakewater tablemay not be the only indicator for estimatingnet C accumulationin soil sincemicrobiologicalprocesses are also affected by proton concentration,mineral nutrient status,

    and vegetation type. Because whole soils, and their constituentparts, should re ect general

    properties of ecosystems (Elliott 1994), the broad spectra of microbiological data obtained

    during the main research period from 1988 to 1995 were combined to elucidate the actual

    functionalstatewith reference to netC accumulationof theHistosols at the alder forest. Bothsoil biochemistry and the structure of the soil microbiota were considered and completed

    by system theory because the data of every component represent only particular aspects,

    may be restricted by the methodology, and, therefore, should not be applied separately for

    drawing general conclusions.

    Materials and Methods

    Site and Soils

    The research site is located 30 km south of Kiel in Schleswig-Holstein, Northern Germany

    (54060 N, 1014 0 E; Figure 1). The landscape, formed during the Pleistocene, consists ofmorainic hills and lakes. The climate is in uenced by both the North Sea and the BalticSea. Long-term (1951 to 1980) mean annual total precipitation was 697 mm, and average

    annual air temperature was 8.1C, according to the local meteorological stations.Along a transect from a kames hill to Lake Belau, a catena running west to east was

    established with a sequence of forests: a beech forest (Fagus sylvatica), a sloping mixedforest, and the black alder forest at the bottom of the catena (Figure 1). The soils of thebeech and the mixed forest were predominantly acidic and sandy; the soils from the black

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  • FIG

    URE1Locationandproperties

    oftheresearch

    site(guregenerouslyprovided

    byDr.W.Kluge,Kiel);H,F,

    S,andUindicatepeat,mud,sand,andsilt,respectively.

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  • 68 O. Dilly et al.

    TABLE 1 Properties of the topsoils of the black alder forest along Lake Belau in theBornh oved Lake district of Northern Germany

    Horizon Depth pHa Corga Cks

    b C/Na C/Nksb C/NRootc(cm) (H2O) [mg g

    1 dry soil] (w/w)

    Dry site H 020 4.1 275 0.35 15 4 36

    Wet site H 020 6.0 230 0.18 15 16 32

    aFrom Dilly and Munch (1995).bks, potassium sulfate-soluble C compounds of soil (control values of fumigation-extraction

    method; sampling October 1