Qualitative and Quantitative Changes in Soil Organic Compounds in Central European Oak Forests with Different Annual Average Precipitation

Fekete, István and Francioso, Omella and Simpson, Myrna J. and Gioacchini, Paola and Montecchio, Daniela and Berki, Imre and Móricz, Norbert and Juhos, Katalin and Béni, Áron and Kotroczó, Zsolt (2023) Qualitative and Quantitative Changes in Soil Organic Compounds in Central European Oak Forests with Different Annual Average Precipitation. ENVIRONMENTS, 10 (3). ISSN 2076-3298

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/environments10030048


The various climate scenarios consistently predict warming and drying of forests in Hungary. Soils play a significant role in the long-term sequestration of atmospheric CO2, while in other cases they can also become net carbon emitters. Therefore, it is important to know what can be expected regarding future changes in the carbon storage capacity of soils in forests. We used precipitation gradient studies to solve this problem, using a type of “space–time” substitution. In this research, we primarily examined the quality parameters of soil organic matter (SOM) to investigate how climate change transforms the ratio of the main SOM compound groups in soils. For our studies, we applied elemental and 13C and 15N isotopic ratio analysis, NMR analysis, FT-IR spectra analysis, thermogravimetric and differential thermal analyses to measure SOM chemistry in samples from different oak forests with contrasting mean annual precipitation from Central Europe. Our results showed that soil organic carbon (SOC) was lower in soils of humid forests due to the enhanced decomposition processes and the leaching of Ca, which stabilizes SOM; however, in particular, the amount of easily degradable SOM compounds (e.g., thermolabile SOM, O-alkyl carbon, carboxylic and carbonyl carbon) decreased. In dry forest soils, the amount of recalcitrant SOM (e.g., thermostable SOM, alkyl carbon, aromatic and phenolic carbon and organo–mineral complexes stabilized by Ca increased, but the amount of easily degradable SOM increased further. The main conclusion of our study is that SOC can increase in forests that become drier, compensating somewhat for the decrease in forest plant biomass.

Tudományterület / tudományág

agricultural sciences > forestry and wildlife management


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Soproni Egyetem

Item Type: Article
SWORD Depositor: Teszt Sword
Depositing User: Csaba Horváth
Identification Number: MTMT:33688727
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2023 08:39
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2023 08:39
URI: http://publicatio.uni-sopron.hu/id/eprint/2698

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