Carbon-nitrogen interactions during afforestation in central China

Qi Deng, Xiaoli Cheng, Yuanhe Yang, Quanfa Zhang, Yiqi Luo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


We conducted a field study in Danjiangkou Reservoir region of central China to evaluate soil C and N dynamics following afforestation by comparing soil organic C and N (SOC and SON), soil net N mineralization and nitrification, and inorganic N concentrations in the plant rhizosphere and open areas in the forest, shrubland and adjacent cropland. Afforestation increased SOC but did not significantly affect SON in the plant rhizosphere. Due to large quantity of low-quality litter (with high C:N ratios) inputs, afforestation enhanced soil C recalcitrant indexes (RIC) but decreased soil N recalcitrance indexes (RIN) in the plant rhizosphere. Both SON and RIN significantly decreased following afforestation in the open areas. Afforestation decreased inorganic N concentrations and net N mineralization. Soil net N mineralization were negatively correlated with soil C:N ratios across land use types. These results suggest that afforestation could increase SOC stocks resulting from large low-quality litter input, but over the long-term, this increase was likely limited due to decreased soil N availability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-122
Number of pages4
JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
StatePublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Land use change
  • Soil C and N recalcitrance indexes
  • Soil fractionation
  • Soil net N mineralization
  • Soil net N nitrification
  • Soil organic matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Soil Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Carbon-nitrogen interactions during afforestation in central China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this