Differences in net primary production and biogeochemistry between contrasting floodplain forestsThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
A firm understanding of the driving forces controlling variation among wetland forests continues to elude scientists and land managers—specifically the biogeochemical processes controlling vegetation production. Within contrasting wetland forests, insight into the biogeochemical processes driving productivity levels may befound by examining the degree to which nitrogen and phosphorus are balanced within the wetland vegetation. Lockaby and Conner (1999) suggest that there exists a biogeochemical continuum for wetland forests based on the relationship between N:P ratios. Koerselman and Meuleman (1996) have indicated that N:P ratios in forest vegetation may serve as a measure of the biogeochemical constraints on vegetation net primary production (NPP). Thus, the position of a particular wetland forest on this N:P continuum reflects the integration of its geomorphic position and biogeochemical history and may have a predictive value with regard to levels of NPP (Lockay and Conner 1999). Ultimately, the synchrony of nutrient availability and plant uptake influences the levels of NPP within wetland forests.