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Volume 1, Pages 527-533
Research Article

Effects of Surface Soil Removal on Dynamics of Dissolved Inorganic Nitrogen in a Snow-Dominated Forest

Graduate School of Agriculture, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan

Academic Editor: Joe Wisniewski

Copyright © 2001 M. Ozawa et al.


To clarify the effect of vegetation and surface soil removal on dissolved inorganic nitrogen (N) dynamics in a snow-dominated forest soil in northern Japan, the seasonal fluctuation of N concentrations in soil solution and the annual flux of N in soil were investigated at a treated site (in which surface soil, including understory vegetation and organic and A horizons, was removed) and control sites from July 1998 to June 2000. Nitrate (NO3) concentration in soil solution at the treated site was significantly higher than that of the control in the no-snow period, and it was decreased by dilution from melting snow. The annual net outputs of NO3 from soil at the treated site and control sites were 257 and –12 mmol m–2 year–1, and about 57% of the net output at the treated site occurred during the snowmelt period. NO3 was transported from the upper level to the lower level of soil via water movement during late autumn and winter, and it was retained in soil and leached by melt water in early spring. Removing vegetation and surface soil resulted in an increase in NO3 concentration of soil solution, and snowmelt strongly affected the NO3 leaching from treated soil and the NO3 restoration process in a snow-dominated region.