Spatial heterogenity of phosphorus concentration and P speciation in German forest soils: Dependence on soil P status and effect on P nutrition of Fagus sylvatica

In the project, (1) the spatial heterogeneity of soil phosphorus (concentration of total P and P speciation) in German forest soils with different P status will be investigated with modern analytical (synchrotron-based X-ray spectroscopy and spectromicroscopy) and geostatistical methods at different scales: (soil aggregates: (sub)micron to mm scale; particular regions of soil profiles [e. g. root channels, surrounding of stones]: mm to dm scale, entire soil profiles: dm to m scale; forest stand: m to 10m scale). Furthermore, we will (2) investigate the exploitation of spatial P heterogeneity patterns by the rooting system of the European beech (Fagus sylvatica) in a rhizotron experiment. Additionally, we will (3) investigate the presence of advantageous effects of a small-scale heterogeneity of soil P concentration and P speciation at different degrees of patchiness on P nutritional status and growth of European beech seedling on P poor sites in a pot experiment. We expect that our results will provide (i) new insights about spatial heterogeneity patterns of soil P concentration and P speciation in forest soils and their relevance for (ii) spatial P uptake patterns of the European beech, (iii) availability and P nutritional status as well as (iv) seedling growth of this tree species.


German Research Foundation (DFG)

Project team:

Alexander Otto, Prof. Dr. Sandra Spielvogel