Atmospheric deposition of elements and its relevance for nutrient budgets of tropical forests

Type Article
Date 2020-06
Language English
Author(s) Van Langenhove Leandro1, Verryckt Lore T.1, Bréchet Laëtitia1, Courtois Elodie A.2, Stahl Clement3, Hofhansl Florian4, Bauters Marijn5, Sardans Jordi6, 7, Boeckx Pascal5, Fransen Erik8, 9, Peñuelas Josep6, 7, Janssens Ivan A.1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Centre of Excellence PLECO (Plants and Ecosystems), Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Wilrijk, Belgium
2 : Laboratoire Ecologie, évolution, Interactions des Systèmes Amazoniens (LEEISA), Université de Guyane, CNRS, IFREMER, French Guiana, 97300, Cayenne, France
3 : INRA, UMR EcoFoG, CNRS, Cirad, AgroParisTech, Université des Antilles, Université de Guyane, 97387, Kourou, France
4 : International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Schlossplatz 1, 2361, Laxenburg, Austria
5 : Isotope Bioscience Laboratory–ISOFYS, Ghent University, 9000, Gent, Belgium
6 : CSIC, Global Ecology Unit CREAF-CSIC-UAB, 08193, Bellaterra, Catalonia, Spain
7 : CREAF, 08193, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Catalonia, Spain
8 : Center of Medical Genetics, University of Antwerp, Prins Boudewijnlaan 43/6, 2650, Edegem, Antwerp, Belgium
9 : StatUa Center for Statistics, University of Antwerp, Prinsstraat 13, 2000, Antwerp, Belgium
Source Biogeochemistry (0168-2563) (Springer Science and Business Media LLC), 2020-06 , Vol. 149 , N. 2 , P. 175-193
DOI 10.1007/s10533-020-00673-8
WOS© Times Cited 28
Keyword(s) Throughfall, Litterfall, Nutrient cycling, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium

Atmospheric deposition is an important component of the nutrient cycles of terrestrial ecosystems, but field measurements are especially scarce in tropical regions. In this study we analysed 15 months of precipitation chemistry collected in an old growth tropical forest located in French Guiana. We measured nutrient inputs via bulk precipitation and throughfall and used the canopy budget model to estimate nutrient fluxes via canopy exchange and dry deposition. Based on this method we quantified net fluxes of macronutrients and compared their contribution to internal cycling rates via litterfall. Our results suggest that while atmospheric deposition of nitrogen was relatively high (13 kg ha−1 year−1), and mainly in organic forms, the N inputs via litterfall were an order of magnitude higher. In contrast to nitrogen, we found that atmospheric deposition of phosphorus (0.5 kg ha−1 year−1) supplied up to one third of the annual litterfall input to the forest floor. Most strikingly, combined annual inputs of potassium via atmospheric deposition (14 kg ha−1 year−1) and canopy leaching (22 kg ha−1 year−1) were three times larger than internal nutrient recycling via litterfall (11 kg ha−1 year−1). We conclude that atmospheric deposition of phosphorus and especially potassium may play an important role in sustaining the productivity of this old-growth tropical rainforest.

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Van Langenhove Leandro, Verryckt Lore T., Bréchet Laëtitia, Courtois Elodie A., Stahl Clement, Hofhansl Florian, Bauters Marijn, Sardans Jordi, Boeckx Pascal, Fransen Erik, Peñuelas Josep, Janssens Ivan A. (2020). Atmospheric deposition of elements and its relevance for nutrient budgets of tropical forests. Biogeochemistry, 149(2), 175-193. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :