M. van Til
- Iron-rich dune grasslands: Relations between soil organic matter and sorption of Fe and P
- Environmental Pollution
- Volume | Issue number
- 157 | 11
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
Effects of high atmospheric nitrogen-deposition partly depend on availability of phosphate. Lime-poor, but iron-rich dune grasslands are supposedly protected from grass-encroachment, due to P-fixation in iron phosphate. However, in iron-rich Dutch hinterdunes, dunes have low, but dry former beach plains high grass-encroachment. To test whether these zones differ in nutrient availability, and whether this changed with duration of grass-encroachment, we measured net N-mineralization, microbial characteristics and different fractions of P and Fe from pioneer and shortgrass to tallgrass stages approximately 10, 20 and >25 years old. N-mineralization did not differ between zones, but increased in older tallgrass stages in the organic layer. P-availability was significantly lower in the low grass-encroachment zone, with SOM values below 3% and mineral Fe above 40% allowing for P-fixation in iron phosphates. In the high grass-encroachment zone, however, P-availability increased, because SOM increased and Fe became incorporated in organic matter complexes, with more reversible P-sorption.
Iron-rich dune grasslands may be protected from high N-deposition and grass-encroachment only when SOM is low, because only then P-fixation in iron phosphates occurs.
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