Soil carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus stocks and dynamics under disturbed black spruce forests
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): C. Kenneth Smith; Marie R. Coyea; Alison D. Munson
Publication Year: 2000

Cataloging Information

  • black spruce
  • black spruce
  • boreal forests
  • boreal forests
  • burning intervals
  • Canada
  • carbon
  • catastrophic fires
  • cutting
  • disturbance
  • disturbance effects on black spruce forests
  • feathermoss
  • fire frequency
  • forest management
  • Kalmia angustifolia
  • land use
  • Ledum groenlandicum
  • lightning caused fires
  • logging
  • mineral soils
  • mosses
  • nitrogen
  • nitrogen
  • organic matter
  • phosphorus
  • phosphorus
  • Picea
  • Picea mariana
  • Pleurozium schreberi
  • Quebec
  • regeneration
  • roots
  • shrubs
  • soil C
  • soil temperature
  • soils
  • Spodosols
  • statistical analysis
  • tree harvest
  • Vaccinium myrtilloides
  • wildfire
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: October 3, 2022
FRAMES Record Number: 37605
Tall Timbers Record Number: 12097
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Journals-E
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


In the North American boreal forest, black spruce (Picea mariana) forests have historically regenerated after the passage of large-scale wildfires. Over the past 30 years, tree harvesting has replaced wildfire as the predominant agent of disturbance in black spruce -- feathermoss communities in the Lac St. Jean -- Chibougamau region of Quebec, Canada. This study addressed how natural and anthropogenic disturbances altered soil and fine root carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) stocks and dynamics under four disturbance types in central Quebec including: (1) recently burned sites, (2) sites recently harvested using a practice called 'cutting with protection of tree regeneration and soils' (CPRS), (3) sites that were burned 75-85 yr ago, and (4) sites that were horse-logged 55 yr ago. Soil N contents in the surface organic layer of the recently burned sites (91 g/m2) were significantly lower than under the old burn sites (146 g/m2) Using equivalent soil masses, total N stores in the mineral soils under the recently harvested stands (76 g/m2) were significantly lower than N stores under the old burn sites (114 g/m2. In field incubations from June to October 1997, net N mineralization rates in the organic horizons ranged from 3.3 kg/ha (recent burn) to 17.1 kg/ha (old harvest). The largest pools of labile inorganic-P (Bray 2 extractable) were in the organic horizons of the old harvest and old burn sites (59.1 and 55.3 mg/kg, respectively), and these pools increased up to 24% from the beginning to the end of the growing season. Pools of dissolved organic nitrogen in surface organic horizons in all of the disturbance types were highest just after snowmelt and declined steadily through the growing season. The older disturbance types had higher N stores in fine roots compared to the recently disturbed sites, and fine root length in the old harvest sites (1623 m/m2) was higher than in the stands burned 75-85 yr ago (917 m/m2). © Ecological Society of America. Abstract reproduced by permission.

Smith, C. K., M. R. Coyea, and A. D. Munson. 2000. Soil carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus stocks and dynamics under disturbed black spruce forests. Ecological Applications, v. 10, no. 3, p. 775-788.