In alpine tundra the interannual and seasonal variability of C and N forms in soil and lake water during the short snow-free season could be significant and related to climatic and pedoclimatic variables. The hypothesis that not only the climatic and pedoclimatic parameters recorded during the summer season but also the ones measured during the previous snow-covered season could contribute to explaining the C and N dynamics in soil and surface water was tested along 10 snow-free seasons in 3 sites in the alpine tundra in the north-western Italian Alps (LTER site Istituto Mosso). Among the considered parameters, the snow cover duration (SCD) exerted a primary control on soil N-NH 4+ , DOC, C micr , N micr and DOC:DON ratio, with an inverse relationship. A long SCD might cause the consumption of all the subnival substrata by the soil microorganisms, determining a C starvation during the subsequent snow-free season. An opposite trend was observed for the lake water, where a longer SCD corresponded to a higher content of inorganic N forms. Among the pedoclimatic indices, the number of soil freeze/thaw cycles (FTC) recorded during the snow-covered season had a positive relation with most of soil C and N forms and N-NO 3− in lake water. Only the soil DON showed an inverse pattern, and this result is consistent with the hypothesis that FTC released soil DON, subsequently decomposed and mineralized. Only N-NO 3− had a significant intraseasonal variability, reaching the highest values in September both in soil and water, revealing a significant slowdown of the contribution of soil N immobilization processes.

Climatic and pedoclimatic factors driving C and N dynamics in soil and surface water in the alpine tundra (NW-Italian Alps)

Freppaz M.
First
;
Viglietti D.;Balestrini R.;Lonati M.;Colombo N.
2019

Abstract

In alpine tundra the interannual and seasonal variability of C and N forms in soil and lake water during the short snow-free season could be significant and related to climatic and pedoclimatic variables. The hypothesis that not only the climatic and pedoclimatic parameters recorded during the summer season but also the ones measured during the previous snow-covered season could contribute to explaining the C and N dynamics in soil and surface water was tested along 10 snow-free seasons in 3 sites in the alpine tundra in the north-western Italian Alps (LTER site Istituto Mosso). Among the considered parameters, the snow cover duration (SCD) exerted a primary control on soil N-NH 4+ , DOC, C micr , N micr and DOC:DON ratio, with an inverse relationship. A long SCD might cause the consumption of all the subnival substrata by the soil microorganisms, determining a C starvation during the subsequent snow-free season. An opposite trend was observed for the lake water, where a longer SCD corresponded to a higher content of inorganic N forms. Among the pedoclimatic indices, the number of soil freeze/thaw cycles (FTC) recorded during the snow-covered season had a positive relation with most of soil C and N forms and N-NO 3− in lake water. Only the soil DON showed an inverse pattern, and this result is consistent with the hypothesis that FTC released soil DON, subsequently decomposed and mineralized. Only N-NO 3− had a significant intraseasonal variability, reaching the highest values in September both in soil and water, revealing a significant slowdown of the contribution of soil N immobilization processes.
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Freeze/thaw cycles; Leaching; LTER; N-NO ; 3; -; Snow cover duration; Soil temperature
Freppaz M.; Viglietti D.; Balestrini R.; Lonati M.; Colombo N.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1734811
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