Soil does not explain monodominance in a central African tropical forest

Peh, Kelvin S-H., Sonké, Bonaventure, Lloyd, Jon, Quesada, Carlos A., and Lewis, Simon L. (2011) Soil does not explain monodominance in a central African tropical forest. PLoS ONE, 6 (2). e16996. pp. 1-9.

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Abstract

Background

Soil characteristics have been hypothesised as one of the possible mechanisms leading to monodominance of Gilbertiodendron dewerei in some areas of Central Africa where higher-diversity forest would be expected. However, the differences in soil characteristics between the G. dewevrei-dominated forest and its adjacent mixed forest are still poorly understood. Here we present the soil characteristics of the G. dewevrei forest and quantify whether soil physical and chemical properties in this monodominant forest are significantly different from the adjacent mixed forest.

Methodology/Principal Findings

We sampled top soil (0–5, 5–10, 10–20, 20–30 cm) and subsoil (150–200 cm) using an augur in 6 × 1 ha areas of intact central Africa forest in SE Cameroon, three independent patches of G. dewevrei-dominated forest and three adjacent areas (450–800 m apart), all chosen to be topographically homogeneous. Analysis – subjected to Bonferroni correction procedure – revealed no significant differences between the monodominant and mixed forests in terms of soil texture, median particle size, bulk density, pH, carbon (C) content, nitrogen (N) content, C:N ratio, C:total NaOH-extractable P ratio and concentrations of labile phosphorous (P), inorganic NaOH-extractable P, total NaOH-extractable P, aluminium, barium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, potassium, selenium, silicon, sodium and zinc. Prior to Bonferroni correction procedure, there was a significant lower level of silicon concentration found in the monodominant than mixed forest deep soil; and a significant lower level of nickel concentration in the monodominant than mixed forest top soil. Nevertheless, these were likely to be the results of multiple tests of significance.

Conclusions/Significance

Our results do not provide clear evidence of soil mediation for the location of monodominant forests in relation to adjacent mixed forests. It is also likely that G. dewevrei does not influence soil chemistry in the monodominant forests.

Item ID: 18011
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Additional Information:

Copyright: © 2011 Peh et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2011 22:47
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050399 Soil Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 40%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060208 Terrestrial Ecology @ 60%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9699 Other Environment > 969999 Environment not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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