Short-term response of the Ca cycle of a montane forest in Ecuador to low experimental CaCl 2 additions

Wullaert, Hans; Bigalke, Moritz; Homeier, Jürgen; Cumbicus, Nixon; Valarezo, Carlos; Wilcke, Wolfgang (2013). Short-term response of the Ca cycle of a montane forest in Ecuador to low experimental CaCl 2 additions. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, 176(6), pp. 892-903. Wiley-VCH 10.1002/jpln.201300146

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The tropical montane forests of the E Andean cordillera in Ecuador receive episodic Sahara-dust inputs particularly increasing Ca deposition. We added CaCl2 to isolate the effect of Ca deposition by Sahara dust to tropical montane forest from the simultaneously occurring pH effect. We examined components of the Ca cycle at four control plots and four plots with added Ca (2 × 5 kg ha–1 Ca annually as CaCl2) in a random arrangement. Between August 2007 and December 2009 (four applications of Ca), we determined Ca concentrations and fluxes in litter leachate, mineral soil solution (0.15 and 0.30 m depths), throughfall, and fine litterfall and Al concentrations and speciation in soil solutions. After 1 y of Ca addition, we assessed fine-root biomass, leaf area, and tree growth. Only < 3% of the applied Ca leached below the acid organic layer (pH 3.5–4.8). The added CaCl2 did not change electrical conductivity in the root zone after 2 y. In the second year of fertilization, Ca retention in the canopy of the Ca treatment tended to decrease relative to the control. After 2 y, 21% of the applied Ca was recycled to soil with throughfall and litterfall. One year after the first Ca addition, fine-root biomass had decreased significantly. Decreasing fine-root biomass might be attributed to a direct or an indirect beneficial effect of Ca on the soil decomposer community. Because of almost complete association of Al with dissolved organic matter and high free Ca2+ : Al3+ activity ratios in solution of all plots, Al toxicity was unlikely. We conclude that the added Ca was retained in the system and had beneficial effects on some plants.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Physical Geography > Unit Soil Science
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography

UniBE Contributor:

Bigalke, Moritz and Wilcke, Wolfgang

Subjects:

900 History > 910 Geography & travel

ISSN:

1436-8730

Publisher:

Wiley-VCH

Language:

English

Submitter:

Monika Wälti-Stampfli

Date Deposited:

03 Jun 2014 10:56

Last Modified:

14 Sep 2015 12:02

Publisher DOI:

10.1002/jpln.201300146

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.43230

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/43230

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