Current issue: 53(3)
Under compilation: 53(4)
The main aim of the current study was to estimate the annual net nitrogen mineralization (NNM) flux in stands of different tree species growing on drained peatlands, as well as to clarify the effect of tree species, soil properties and litter on annual NNM dynamics. Three study sites were set up in May 2014: a downy birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh.) stand and a Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) stand in Oxalis full-drained swamp (ODS) and a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stand in Myrtillus full-drained swamp (MDS). The NNM flux was estimated using the in situ method with incubated polyethylene bags. The highest value of NNM was found in stands that were growing on fertile ODS: 127.5 kg N ha–1 yr–1 and 87.7 kg N ha–1 yr–1, in the downy birch stand and in the Norway spruce stand, respectively. A significantly lower annual NNM flux (11.8 kg N ha–1 yr–1) occurred in the Scots pine stand growing in MDS. Nitrification was highest at fertile ODS sites and ammonification was the highest at the low fertility MDS site. For all study sites, positive correlation was found between soil temperature and NNM intensity. The difference in annual NNM between the downy birch stand and the Norway spruce stand growing on similar drained fertile peatlands was due to litter quality. The annual N input into the soil through leaf litter was the highest at the downy birch site where also the C/N ratio of litter was the lowest. The second highest N input into the soil was found in the spruce stand and the lowest in the pine stand.