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Soil denudation rates in an old‐growth mountain temperate forest driven by tree uprooting dynamics, Central Europe


Šamonil, Pavel; Egli, Markus; Steinert, Teresa; Norton, Kevin; Abiven, Samuel; Daněk, Pavel; Hort, Libor; Brandová, Dagmar; Christl, Marcus; Tikhomirov, Dmitry (2020). Soil denudation rates in an old‐growth mountain temperate forest driven by tree uprooting dynamics, Central Europe. Land Degradation & Development, 31(2):222-239.

Abstract

Tree uprooting may distinctly affect landscape dynamics and slope denudation. Little is known, however, about the corresponding soil redistribution rates (erosion and accumulation) on either a long‐term (millennia; 10Be) or a short‐term (decades; 239+240Pu) scale. We determined these rates in a well‐investigated forest reserve (Zofinsky primeval forest, Czech Republic) using complementary techniques: nuclides in soils and tors to derive short‐ to long‐term rates and monitoring data (43 years) of repeated tree censuses using tree uprooting data. Temporal trends of soil erosion rates were obtained by dating the timing of exhumation (10Be) of tors. The average long‐term denudation rates were about 30–40 t km−2 yr−1. It seems that these rates varied over time with probably a maximum during the Pleistocene/Holocene transition (58–91 t km−2 yr−1). 239+240Pu activities in the soils identified soil redistribution rates of 50 to >100 t km−2 yr−1 for the last decades and agree with results from the tree uprooting monitoring (<92 t km−2 yr−1). In‐situ 10Be in soils gave similar denudation rates (58–76 t km−2 yr−1). Meteoric 10Be provided a mean residence time of a soil particle of 33–100 ka supporting the measured average long‐term erosion rates. Soil aggregates indicated stable physical conditions meaning that soil mass redistribution occurs only sporadically. It seems that the main driving factors of denudation changed over time. An erosion peak at the Pleistocene/Holocene transition (climate change) seems likely but needs further proof. Over the last few millennia, tree uprooting seems the main driver of soil erosion.

Abstract

Tree uprooting may distinctly affect landscape dynamics and slope denudation. Little is known, however, about the corresponding soil redistribution rates (erosion and accumulation) on either a long‐term (millennia; 10Be) or a short‐term (decades; 239+240Pu) scale. We determined these rates in a well‐investigated forest reserve (Zofinsky primeval forest, Czech Republic) using complementary techniques: nuclides in soils and tors to derive short‐ to long‐term rates and monitoring data (43 years) of repeated tree censuses using tree uprooting data. Temporal trends of soil erosion rates were obtained by dating the timing of exhumation (10Be) of tors. The average long‐term denudation rates were about 30–40 t km−2 yr−1. It seems that these rates varied over time with probably a maximum during the Pleistocene/Holocene transition (58–91 t km−2 yr−1). 239+240Pu activities in the soils identified soil redistribution rates of 50 to >100 t km−2 yr−1 for the last decades and agree with results from the tree uprooting monitoring (<92 t km−2 yr−1). In‐situ 10Be in soils gave similar denudation rates (58–76 t km−2 yr−1). Meteoric 10Be provided a mean residence time of a soil particle of 33–100 ka supporting the measured average long‐term erosion rates. Soil aggregates indicated stable physical conditions meaning that soil mass redistribution occurs only sporadically. It seems that the main driving factors of denudation changed over time. An erosion peak at the Pleistocene/Holocene transition (climate change) seems likely but needs further proof. Over the last few millennia, tree uprooting seems the main driver of soil erosion.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Environmental Chemistry
Social Sciences & Humanities > Development
Physical Sciences > General Environmental Science
Life Sciences > Soil Science
Uncontrolled Keywords:Soil Science, Development, General Environmental Science, Environmental Chemistry
Language:English
Date:30 January 2020
Deposited On:03 Jan 2020 15:32
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 12:40
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1085-3278
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/ldr.3443

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