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Stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of leaves, litter, and soils of various ecosystems along an elevational and land-use gradient at Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Gerschlauer, F.; Saiz, G.; Schellenberger Costa, D.; Kleyer, M.; Dannenmann, M.; Kiese, R.

Variations in the stable isotopic composition of carbon (δ¹³C) and nitrogen (δ¹⁵N) of fresh leaves, litter, and topsoils were used to characterize soil organic matter dynamics of 12 tropical ecosystems in the Mount Kilimanjaro region, Tanzania. We studied a total of 60 sites distributed along five individual elevational transects (860–4550ma.s.l.), which define a strong climatic and land-use gradient encompassing semi-natural and managed ecosystems. The combined effects of contrasting environmental conditions, vegetation, soil, and management practices had a strong impact on the δ¹³C and δ¹⁵N values observed in the different ecosystems. The relative abundance of C₃ and C₄ plants greatly determined the δ¹³C of a given ecosystem. In contrast, δ¹⁵N values were largely controlled by land-use intensification and climatic conditions. The large δ¹³C enrichment factors (δ¹³C$_{litter}$-δ¹³C$_{soil}$) and low soil C/N ratios observed in managed and disturbed systems agree well with the notion of altered SOM dynamics. Besides the systematic removal of the plant biomass characteristic of agricultural systems, annual litterfall patterns may also explain the comparatively lower contents of C and N observed in the topsoils of these intensively managed sites. ... mehr

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Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000091067
Veröffentlicht am 15.02.2019
DOI: 10.5194/bg-16-409-2019
Zitationen: 3
Web of Science
Zitationen: 3
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung - Atmosphärische Umweltforschung (IMK-IFU)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Jahr 2019
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 1726-4170, 1726-4189
KITopen-ID: 1000091067
Erschienen in Biogeosciences
Band 16
Heft 2
Seiten 409-424
Bemerkung zur Veröffentlichung Gefördert durch den KIT-Publikationsfonds
Vorab online veröffentlicht am 25.01.2019
Nachgewiesen in Scopus
Web of Science
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