Impact of douglas-fir and scots pine seedlings on plagioclase weathering under acidic conditions.
The weathering of soil minerals in forest ecosystems increases nutrient availability for the trees. The rate of such weathering and its relative contribution to forest tree nutrition, is a major issue when evaluating present and potential forest stand productivity and sustainability. The current paper examines the weathering rate of plagioclase with and without Douglas-fir or Scots pine seedlings, in a laboratory experiment at pH 3~ and 25 0C. All nutrients, with the exception of Ca, were supplied in sufficient amounts in a nutrient solution. The objective of the experiment was to evaluate the potential of trees to mobilise Ca from the mineral plagioclase that contained 12% of Ca. Amounts of nutrients supplied in the nutrient solution, amounts accumulated in the living tissue of the seedlings and amounts leached from the experimental vessels, were measured. A weathering balance, accounting for leached + accumulated – supplied amounts, was established. Bio-induced weathering, defined as the weathering increase in the presence of trees, relative to the weathering rate without trees (geochemical weathering; control vessels), under the present experimental conditions, explained on average, 40% of total weathering (biological + geochemical). These conditions appeared more beneficial to Scots pine (higher relative growth rate, higher Ca incorporation) than to Douglas-fir.
Bakker, M.R.; George, E.; Turpault, M.-P.; Zhang, J.L.; Zeller, B. 2004. Impact of douglas-fir and scots pine seedlings on plagioclase weathering under acidic conditions. Plant and Soil 266, 257-259.