Former agriculture impacts on properties of Norway spruce forest

D. Kacalek, D. Dusek, J. Novak, M. Slodicak, J. Bartos, V. Cernohous, V. Balcar


Forest floor is considered a major feature distinguishing forest from agricultural soils. Forest floor develops as forest stands grow and is composed of more or less altered plant-tissue biomass accumulated on the soil surface. Our study’s aim was to find whether properties of both the organic layers and mineral soil differ according to the land-use history of the sites compared. Each site included an afforested area of immature 50-year-old spruce forest (AFF) on formerly agricultural land plus an adjacent area of old-growth 100-year-old spruce stand (FOR). The localities are situated at altitudes ranging between 600 and 850 metres above sea level. From the results of our study it can be concluded that both forest floor and mineral soil had higher pH and Ca concentration at formerly agricultural sites. C/N ratio is significantly lower in afforested soil. First-generation humus was significantly higher in phosphorus.


afforestation; land use; legacy of agriculture; Picea abies (L.) Karst.

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DOI: 10.5424/fs/20112003-11042