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Seasonal dynamics of arginine ammonification in forest soils of Norway spruce pure stands under different silvicultural practices


Effects of seasonal dynamics and silvicultural practice on ammonification of arginine, one of the proteinogenic amino acids, were assessed in surface organic H-horizon of three Norway spruce pure stands in medium altitudes (600 - 660 m a.s.l.). Contents of ammonium ions NH4+ measured monthly in the field and contents of NH4+ after laboratory incubation of these samples with arginine were taken as dependent variables in ANOVA and in linear regression model using generalised linear model. The aim of the analyses was to determine the significance of decomposition of this amino acid in H-horizon of forest soils and to determine categorical and continuous predictors which influence intensity of the ammonification. Laboratory experiments confirmed its close link to seasonal dynamics, as well as to forest management; however the last mentioned was firstly found as less significant when compared within whole season. As regards to seasonal dynamics in forest soils, the highest amount of ammonium ion was released in May and the lowest in July. As regards to the silvicultural practice applied, more ammonium ion was released under mature spruce monoculture, especially in August and May; in the young stands, the method of thinning had no effect on the ammonium ion release. However, the arginine ammonification was found to be influenced by ammonium nitrogen content (slight, less significant negative correlation) and by soil water content (stronger positive significance), especially in the stand with thinning from below. This was concluded to be caused by changes in stand microclimate in function of the silvicultural practice.

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