skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Soil properties explain tree growth and mortality, but not biomass, across phosphorus-depleted tropical forests

Abstract

We observed strong positive relationships between soil properties and forest dynamics of growth and mortality across twelve primary lowland tropical forests in a phosphorus-poor region of the Guiana Shield. Average tree growth (diameter at breast height) increased from 0.81 to 2.1 mm yr -1 along a soil texture gradient from 0 to 67% clay, and increasing metal-oxide content. Soil organic carbon stocks in the top 30cm ranged from 30 to 118 tons C ha -1, phosphorus content ranged from 7 to 600 mg kg -1 soil, and the relative abundance of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi ranged from 0 to 50%, all positively correlating with soil clay, and iron and aluminum oxide and hydroxide content. In contrast, already low extractable phosphorus (Bray P) content decreased from 4.4 to <0.0 mg kg -1 in soil with increasing clay content. A greater prevalence of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in more clayey forests that had higher tree growth and mortality, but not biomass, indicates that despite the greater investment in nutrient uptake required, soils with higher clay content may actually serve to sustain high tree growth in tropical forests by avoiding phosphorus losses from the ecosystem. Our study demonstrates how variation in soil properties that retainmore » carbon and nutrients can help to explain variation in tropical forest growth and mortality, but not biomass, by requiring niche specialization and contributing to biogeochemical diversification across this region.« less

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [3];  [4];  [5]; ORCiD logo [2];  [4]; ORCiD logo [6];  [7];  [8];  [9]; ORCiD logo [10];  [4]; ORCiD logo [4]; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Univ. of Antwerp, Wilrijk (Belgium)
  2. Univ. of Antwerp, Wilrijk (Belgium)
  3. Center for Ecological Research and Forestry Application, Catalonia (Spain); Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Catalonia (Spain); French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), Kourou (France)
  4. Center for Ecological Research and Forestry Application, Catalonia (Spain); Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Catalonia (Spain)
  5. Univ. of Antilles, Kourou (France); Univ. of Guyane, Kourou (France)
  6. Paul Sabatier Univ., Toulouse (France)
  7. French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), Kourou (France)
  8. Univ. of Lorraine, Nancy (France)
  9. French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), Kourou (France); Univ. of Montpellier (France)
  10. French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), Kourou (France); Univ. of Montpellier (France); Inst. National Polytechnique Felix Houphouet-Biogny, Yamoussoukro (Ivory Coast)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23); European Research Council (ERC)
OSTI Identifier:
1603621
Grant/Contract Number:  
[AC02-05CH11231; Imbalance-P #610028]
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
[ Journal Volume: 10; Journal Issue: 1]; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; biogeochemistry; carbon cycle; climate-change ecology

Citation Formats

Soong, Jennifer L., Janssens, Ivan A., Grau, Oriol, Margalef, Olga, Stahl, Clément, Van Langenhove, Leandro, Urbina, Ifigenia, Chave, Jerome, Dourdain, Aurelie, Ferry, Bruno, Freycon, Vincent, Herault, Bruno, Sardans, Jordi, Peñuelas, Josep, and Verbruggen, Erik. Soil properties explain tree growth and mortality, but not biomass, across phosphorus-depleted tropical forests. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-58913-8.
Soong, Jennifer L., Janssens, Ivan A., Grau, Oriol, Margalef, Olga, Stahl, Clément, Van Langenhove, Leandro, Urbina, Ifigenia, Chave, Jerome, Dourdain, Aurelie, Ferry, Bruno, Freycon, Vincent, Herault, Bruno, Sardans, Jordi, Peñuelas, Josep, & Verbruggen, Erik. Soil properties explain tree growth and mortality, but not biomass, across phosphorus-depleted tropical forests. United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-58913-8.
Soong, Jennifer L., Janssens, Ivan A., Grau, Oriol, Margalef, Olga, Stahl, Clément, Van Langenhove, Leandro, Urbina, Ifigenia, Chave, Jerome, Dourdain, Aurelie, Ferry, Bruno, Freycon, Vincent, Herault, Bruno, Sardans, Jordi, Peñuelas, Josep, and Verbruggen, Erik. Mon . "Soil properties explain tree growth and mortality, but not biomass, across phosphorus-depleted tropical forests". United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-58913-8. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1603621.
@article{osti_1603621,
title = {Soil properties explain tree growth and mortality, but not biomass, across phosphorus-depleted tropical forests},
author = {Soong, Jennifer L. and Janssens, Ivan A. and Grau, Oriol and Margalef, Olga and Stahl, Clément and Van Langenhove, Leandro and Urbina, Ifigenia and Chave, Jerome and Dourdain, Aurelie and Ferry, Bruno and Freycon, Vincent and Herault, Bruno and Sardans, Jordi and Peñuelas, Josep and Verbruggen, Erik},
abstractNote = {We observed strong positive relationships between soil properties and forest dynamics of growth and mortality across twelve primary lowland tropical forests in a phosphorus-poor region of the Guiana Shield. Average tree growth (diameter at breast height) increased from 0.81 to 2.1 mm yr-1 along a soil texture gradient from 0 to 67% clay, and increasing metal-oxide content. Soil organic carbon stocks in the top 30cm ranged from 30 to 118 tons C ha-1, phosphorus content ranged from 7 to 600 mg kg-1 soil, and the relative abundance of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi ranged from 0 to 50%, all positively correlating with soil clay, and iron and aluminum oxide and hydroxide content. In contrast, already low extractable phosphorus (Bray P) content decreased from 4.4 to <0.0 mg kg-1 in soil with increasing clay content. A greater prevalence of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in more clayey forests that had higher tree growth and mortality, but not biomass, indicates that despite the greater investment in nutrient uptake required, soils with higher clay content may actually serve to sustain high tree growth in tropical forests by avoiding phosphorus losses from the ecosystem. Our study demonstrates how variation in soil properties that retain carbon and nutrients can help to explain variation in tropical forest growth and mortality, but not biomass, by requiring niche specialization and contributing to biogeochemical diversification across this region.},
doi = {10.1038/s41598-020-58913-8},
journal = {Scientific Reports},
number = [1],
volume = [10],
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {2}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Mineral surfaces and soil organic matter
journal, June 2003


Particle Size Analysis by Hydrometer: A Simplified Method for Routine Textural Analysis and a Sensitivity Test of Measurement Parameters
journal, September 1979


Plant nutrient-acquisition strategies change with soil age
journal, February 2008


Pervasive phosphorus limitation of tree species but not communities in tropical forests
journal, March 2018

  • Turner, Benjamin L.; Brenes-Arguedas, Tania; Condit, Richard
  • Nature, Vol. 555, Issue 7696
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature25789

Basin-wide variations in Amazon forest structure and function are mediated by both soils and climate
journal, January 2012


Controls over leaf litter decomposition in wet tropical forests
journal, December 2009

  • Wieder, William R.; Cleveland, Cory C.; Townsend, Alan R.
  • Ecology, Vol. 90, Issue 12
  • DOI: 10.1890/08-2294.1

Belowground carbon flux links biogeochemical cycles and resource-use efficiency at the global scale
journal, October 2016

  • Gill, Allison L.; Finzi, Adrien C.
  • Ecology Letters, Vol. 19, Issue 12
  • DOI: 10.1111/ele.12690

Nutrient-cycling mechanisms other than the direct absorption from soil may control forest structure and dynamics in poor Amazonian soils
journal, March 2017

  • Grau, Oriol; Peñuelas, Josep; Ferry, Bruno
  • Scientific Reports, Vol. 7, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/srep45017

Tree mycorrhizal type predicts within-site variability in the storage and distribution of soil organic matter
journal, April 2018

  • Craig, Matthew E.; Turner, Benjamin L.; Liang, Chao
  • Global Change Biology, Vol. 24, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1111/gcb.14132

Symbiotic options for the conquest of land
journal, August 2015

  • Field, Katie J.; Pressel, Silvia; Duckett, Jeffrey G.
  • Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Vol. 30, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2015.05.007

The impact of climate changes during the Holocene on vegetation in northern French Guiana
journal, March 2010


The UNITE database for molecular identification of fungi - recent updates and future perspectives: Letters
journal, March 2010


A novel digestion technique for multi‐element plant analysis
journal, June 1983

  • Novozamsky, I.; Houba, V. J. G.; van Eck, R.
  • Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, Vol. 14, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1080/00103628309367359

Sequence Depth, Not PCR Replication, Improves Ecological Inference from Next Generation DNA Sequencing
journal, February 2014


The above-ground coarse wood productivity of 104 Neotropical forest plots
journal, May 2004


A Large and Persistent Carbon Sink in the World's Forests
journal, July 2011


Individual-Based Modeling of Amazon Forests Suggests That Climate Controls Productivity While Traits Control Demography
journal, April 2019


Mortality and Recruitment Rate Evaluations in Heterogeneous Tropical Forests
journal, February 1996

  • Sheil, Douglas; May, Robert M.
  • The Journal of Ecology, Vol. 84, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.2307/2261703

The Storage and Production of Organic Matter in Tropical Forests and Their Role in the Global Carbon Cycle
journal, September 1982

  • Brown, Sandra; Lugo, Ariel E.
  • Biotropica, Vol. 14, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.2307/2388024

Pattern and process in Amazon tree turnover, 1976–2001
journal, March 2004

  • Phillips, O. L.; Baker, T. R.; Arroyo, L.
  • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 359, Issue 1443
  • DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2003.1438

African biomass burning is a substantial source of phosphorus deposition to the Amazon, Tropical Atlantic Ocean, and Southern Ocean
journal, July 2019

  • Barkley, Anne E.; Prospero, Joseph M.; Mahowald, Natalie
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 116, Issue 33
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1906091116

Cluster Roots: A Curiosity in Context
journal, July 2005


Chickpea and white lupin rhizosphere carboxylates vary with soil properties and enhance phosphorus uptake
journal, January 2003

  • Veneklaas, Erik J.; Stevens, Jason; Cawthray, Gregory R.
  • Plant and Soil, Vol. 248, Issue 1/2
  • DOI: 10.1023/A:1022367312851

Determination of Total, Organic, and Available Forms of Phosphorus in Soils
journal, January 1945


Retention of phosphorus in highly weathered soils under a lowland Amazonian forest ecosystem: PHOSPHOROUS IN AMAZONIAN FOREST SOILS
journal, November 2008

  • McGroddy, M. E.; Silver, W. L.; de Oliveira, R. C.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, Vol. 113, Issue G4
  • DOI: 10.1029/2008JG000756

Soils of Amazonia with particular reference to the RAINFOR sites
journal, January 2011


Improved allometric models to estimate the aboveground biomass of tropical trees
journal, June 2014

  • Chave, Jérôme; Réjou-Méchain, Maxime; Búrquez, Alberto
  • Global Change Biology, Vol. 20, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12629

UPARSE: highly accurate OTU sequences from microbial amplicon reads
journal, August 2013


GOLUM-CNP v1.0: a data-driven modeling of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles in major terrestrial biomes
journal, January 2018

  • Wang, Yilong; Ciais, Philippe; Goll, Daniel
  • Geoscientific Model Development, Vol. 11, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.5194/gmd-11-3903-2018

Growth, recruitment and mortality in the Gama gallery forest in central Brazil over a six-year period (1985–1991)
journal, February 1995


Mineral control of soil organic carbon storage and turnover
journal, September 1997

  • Torn, Margaret S.; Trumbore, Susan E.; Chadwick, Oliver A.
  • Nature, Vol. 389, Issue 6647
  • DOI: 10.1038/38260

Phosphate Uptake from Phytate Due to Hyphae-Mediated Phytase Activity by Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Maize
journal, April 2017


Partitioning of soil phosphorus among arbuscular and ectomycorrhizal trees in tropical and subtropical forests
journal, March 2018

  • Liu, Xubing; Burslem, David F. R. P.; Taylor, Joe D.
  • Ecology Letters, Vol. 21, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1111/ele.12939

Sorption and desorption of dissolved organic phosphorus onto iron (oxyhydr)oxides in seawater
journal, August 2011


Climate Change, Deforestation, and the Fate of the Amazon
journal, January 2008


Soils and rainfall drive landscape-scale changes in the diversity and functional composition of tree communities in premontane tropical forest
journal, May 2017

  • Prada, Cecilia M.; Morris, Arturo; Andersen, Kelly M.
  • Journal of Vegetation Science, Vol. 28, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12540

Long-term decline of the Amazon carbon sink
journal, March 2015

  • Brienen, R. J. W.; Phillips, O. L.; Feldpausch, T. R.
  • Nature, Vol. 519, Issue 7543
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature14283

Role of the soil matrix and minerals in protecting natural organic materials against biological attack
journal, July 2000


Contribution of Soil Organic Carbon to the Ion Exchange Capacity of Tropical Soils
journal, August 2008

  • Soares, Marcio Roberto; Alleoni, Luis Reynaldo Ferracciú
  • Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, Vol. 32, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1080/10440040802257348

Stan : A Probabilistic Programming Language
journal, January 2017

  • Carpenter, Bob; Gelman, Andrew; Hoffman, Matthew D.
  • Journal of Statistical Software, Vol. 76, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.18637/jss.v076.i01

Differences in chemical composition of soil organic matter in natural ecosystems from different climatic regions – A pyrolysis–GC/MS study
journal, March 2009


White-Sand Vegetation of Brazilian Amazonia
journal, September 1981


Potassium, phosphorus, or nitrogen limit root allocation, tree growth, or litter production in a lowland tropical forest
journal, August 2011

  • Wright, S. Joseph; Yavitt, Joseph B.; Wurzburger, Nina
  • Ecology, Vol. 92, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1890/10-1558.1

Species distributions in response to individual soil nutrients and seasonal drought across a community of tropical trees
journal, February 2013

  • Condit, R.; Engelbrecht, B. M. J.; Pino, D.
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 110, Issue 13
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1218042110

Influence of soil texture on carbon dynamics and storage potential in tropical forest soils of Amazonia: CARBON STORAGE POTENTIAL OF TROPICAL SOILS
journal, May 2003

  • Telles, Everaldo de Carvalho Conceição; de Camargo, Plínio Barbosa; Martinelli, Luiz A.
  • Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 17, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1029/2002GB001953

A direct test of nitrogen and phosphorus limitation to net primary productivity in a lowland tropical wet forest
journal, July 2013

  • Alvarez-Clare, S.; Mack, M. C.; Brooks, M.
  • Ecology, Vol. 94, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.1890/12-2128.1

The fate of phosphorus during pedogenesis
journal, January 1976


Impact of desert dust on the biogeochemistry of phosphorus in terrestrial ecosystems
journal, April 2004

  • Okin, Gregory S.; Mahowald, Natalie; Chadwick, Oliver A.
  • Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 18, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1029/2003GB002145