|Title||The Effect of Stand Structure on Soil Physico-Chemical and Biological Properties in a Primary Beech Forest|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2022|
|Authors||Zido J., Sumichrast L., Kucbel S., Gomoryova E.|
|Type of Article||Article|
|Keywords||biodiversity, carbon, DISTURBANCE, diversity, dynamics, Forestry, functional, gap, Heterogeneity, microbial communities, microorganisms, nitrogen, patterns, plant, primary beech forest, soil ecosystem, stand structure, topsoil spatial variability|
The study investigates the links and interactions between soil properties, soil microorganisms and the structure of a primary beech forest. The study was performed in the reserve Havesova (Bukovske vrchy Mts., Slovakia). On 40 sampling plots, soil samples from the O-horizon and from the first 10 cm of the organo-mineral horizons were taken to analyze the physico-chemical and biological properties. Moreover, stand structural characteristics (volume of trees, additive stand density index, coefficient of homogeneity, tree influence potential, development stage indices, etc.) were measured and calculated. In general, we did not observe any strong effects of forest structure on the topsoil characteristics. The effect of stand structure was more reflected in the physico-chemical properties than in the biological attributes. We found that the P and K content in the forest floor increased at plots with a higher volume or density of trees per plot. Moreover, a positive correlation was found also between the K content and tree influence potential. The development stages expressed by the indexes based on the diameter structure were reflected especially by the soil reaction in the A-horizon. Within functional groups of microorganisms based on the Biolog assay, significant differences were found, especially in the utilization of D-cellobiose, which positively correlated with the presence of the optimum stage index. The effect of soil physico-chemical properties on biological indicators was more pronounced than the effect of stand structure.