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Nitrogen transformations in soils beneath red alder and conifers


, : Nitrogen transformations in soils beneath red alder and conifers.

Transformations of nitrogen in organic matter in the soil are essential to plant nutrition because nitrogen in the form of proteins and other organic compounds is not directly available. These compounds must undergo microbial decomposition to liberate nitrogen as ammonium (Nh+4) and nitrate (No-3), which can then be absorbed by plant roots. nitrogen transformations, particularly nitrification, are rapid in soils under coastal Oregon stands of red alder (Alnus rubra Bong.); conifers-Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco), western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg.), and Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr.); and mixed stands of alder and conifers. Nitrification is especially rapid in the F layer beneath alder stands despite a very low pH. These findings are from a study of contributions to the nitrogen economy by red alder conducted at Cascade Head Experimental Forest near Otis, Oregon (Chen, 1965).

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