Soil resistance strongly depended on local conditions. Croplands and sites on high-activity clay (i.e. high fertility) show strong increases in bulk density, and decreases in pH, carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) during deforestation and subsequent agricultural use. Resistance is lower in such sites probably because of a sharp decline in fine root biomass in croplands in the upper soil layers, and a decline in litter input from formerly productive old-growth forest (on high-activity clays). Soil recovery also strongly depended on local conditions. During forest succession, high-activity clays and croplands decreased most strongly in bulk density and increased in C and N, possibly because of strongly compacted soils with low C and N after cropland abandonment, and because of rapid vegetation recovery in high-activity clays leading to greater fine root growth and litter input. Furthermore, sites at low precipitation decreased in pH, whereas sites at high precipitation increased in N and decreased in C:N ratio. Extractable phosphorus (P) did not recover during succession, suggesting increased P limitation as forests age. These results indicate that no single solution exists for effective soil restoration, and that local site conditions should determine the restoration strategies.
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. Biological sciences|
|Early online date||14 Nov 2022|
|Publication status||Published - 2 Jan 2023|