Throughfall nutrients in a degraded indigenous Fagus orientalis forest and a Picea abies plantation in the of North of Iran

Parisa Abbasian, Pedram Attarod, Seyed M.M. Sadeghi, John T. Van Stan II, Seyed M. Hojjati


Aim of study: The objective of this study was to compare the quantity and quality of TF (throughfall) in an indigenous, but degraded, stand of Fagus orientalis and Picea abies plantation.

Area of study: Forests of Kelar-Dasht region located in Mazandaran province, northern Iran.

Material and Methods: TF measured by twenty collectors that were distributed randomly underneath each stand. For 21 storms sampled in 2012 (August-December) and 2013 (April-June), we analyzed pH, EC, Ca2+, Mg2+, K+, NO3-, and P of  gross rainfall (GR) and TF.

Main results: Cumulative interception (I) for F. orientalis and P. abies were 114.2 mm and 194.8 mm of the total GR, respectively. The amount of K+ (13.4 mg L-1) and Ca2+ (0.9 mg L-1) were higher (for both elements, p = 0.001) in the TF of P. abies compared to those of F. orientalis (6.8 and 0.5, mg L-1, respectively) and GR (3.2 and 0.37 mg L-1, respectively). Conversely, mean P concentration was doubled (p = 0.022) in the TF of F. orientalis (11.1 mg L-1) compared to GR (5.8 mg L-1).

Research highlights: P. abies plantations may provide a solution for reforestation of degraded F. orientalis forests of northern Iran, yet how P. abies plantations differentially affect the quality and quantity of rainfall reaching subcanopy soils (TF) compared to F. orientalis is unknown. Understanding the connection between hydrological processes and nutrient cycling in forest ecosystems is crucial for choosing the appropriate species to rehabilitate the degraded indigenous forests with nonindigenous species.  

Keywords: concentration; hydrological process; interception; reforestation.

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DOI: 10.5424/fs/2015243-06764