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Nitrogen and Phosphorus Availability in Treefall Gaps of a Lowland Tropical Rainforest
Peter M. Vitousek and Julie S. Denslow
Journal of Ecology
Vol. 74, No. 4 (Dec., 1986), pp. 1167-1178
Published by: British Ecological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2260241
Page Count: 12
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(1) Nitrogen availability (net nitrogen mineralization) was extremely high in a lowland rainforest on volcanic soil at La Selva, Costa Rica, averaging 50-80 μ g g-1 month-1 (822 kg ha-1 year-1). Available phosphorus concentrations were relatively low (2.5 μ g g-1). (2) Nitrogen mineralization did not increase in the crown-fall zone of treefall gaps, although the possibility of a short-lived increase immediately after treefall could not be ruled out. Phosphorus concentrations increased slightly but not significantly (to 3.3 μ g g-1). (3) The root-throw zone of treefall gaps had significantly lower nitrogen mineralization and phosphorus concentrations than the crown-fall zone or the zone along the fallen trunk. Low nutrient availability in the root-throw zone could select for colonizing species distinct from those establishing in other zones of treefall gaps.
Journal of Ecology © 1986 British Ecological Society