The objective is to analyse the responses of forest soils to changes in physical and chemical climate, in order to derive process models which describe the turnover of nutrients in forest ecosystems.
The objective is being achieved using a transect of forest sites across Europe with differing nitrogen and sulphur inputs. The tree species under investigation are spruce and pine. The project involves 7 research groups. Each group is responsible for carrying out part of the reciprocal transplant as well as additional research component.
In the reciprocal transplant programme, each participant is responsible for maintaining 49 lysimeters established at each of the 6 sites. This involves routine collection of leachates and subsequent analysis for all major anions and cations (to include sulphate, nitrate, phosphate, chloride, ammonium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium and aluminium). Dismantling and sampling of the lysimeters for changes in biological and chemical parameters will also form part of the work.
A routine monitoring of rainfall and throughfall volume and chemistry is performed, as well as a collection and chemical analysis of litter fall.
Each participant is expected to establish, as a minimum, a further 14 lysimeters to monitor the importance of root uptake at the 6 sites.
The sites are to act as primary sites in the decomposition of organic matter (DECO) transect project within the forest ecosystem research network (FERN), where decomposition of standard litter bag material is to be studied, using the DECO protocol. Climatic measurements to be made at the sites will enable the Swedish soil heat flux model to be run for the sites.
Limited air chemistry (sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, ammonia) data for each site will be obtained using low technology diffusion tubes.
Estimates of denitrification losses at each site will be made.
Soil transplants from the current roof exclusion experiments of the experimental manipulations of ecosystems (EXMAN) project to the Irish EXMAN site will be made, permitting a linking of the soil process orientated studies of the current project to the larger ecosystem scale studies being achieved in other studies. Comparison of the impacts of roofing and transplanting to a clean site will assist in calibration of the 2 approaches.
There is a need for additional soil characterization by the participants to include parameters which are necessary input for the CHAOS and MAGIC models. Sulphate adsorption coefficients are needed for MAGIC, and additional chemical analysis of leachates including dissolved organic carbon are necessary for CHAOS.
Finally additional research will be carried out by participating laboratories.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
1307 København K
EX4 4PS Exeter
1081 HV Amsterdam