Increased Forest Soil CO2 and N2O Emissions During Insect Infestation
Zitierfähiger Link (URL): http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/15753
Forest soils are major sinks of terrestrial carbon, but this function may be threatened by mass outbreak events of forest pests. Here, we measured soil CO2-C and N2O-N fluxes from a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forest that was heavily infested by the nun moth (Lymantria monacha L.) and an adjacent noninfested (control) forest site during one year. In the infested forest, net emissions of CO2-C were higher during main defoliation, summer and autumn, while indications of increased N2O-N emissions were found at one sampling date. On basis of this, a microcosm incubation experiment with different organic matter treatments was conducted. Soil treatments with needle litter, insect feces plus needle litter, and insect feces showed 3.7-, 10.6-, and 13.5-fold higher CO2-C emissions while N2O-N of the insect feces plus needle litter, and insect feces treatment was 8.9-, and 10.4-fold higher compared with soil treatments without added organic matter (control). Hence, the defoliation in combination with high inputs of organic matter during insect outbreaks distinctly accelerate decomposition processes in pine forest soils, which in turn alters forests nutrient cycling and the functioning of forests as carbon sinks.
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