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Living the street life : long-term carbon and nitrogen dynamics in parisian soil-tree systems

Abstract : Urban areas impose multiple and intense environmental changes on the ecosystems they contain or that surround them, and the ecosystem responses to urban environments are still poorly known, even on fundamental ecosystem processes such as carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling. The dynamics of urban ecosystems, especially on the long-term, have received little attention. The present work uses a 75-year chronosequence of street soil-tree systems (plantations of Tilia tomentosa Moench) in Paris, France, as its main case study to detect long-term patterns in urban C and N cycling and infer potential underlying mechanisms. This thesis describes age-related patterns of C and N accumulation in soils, and we hypothesize that tree root-derived C and deposited N from the atmosphere and animal waste accumulate in soils. Then, an analysis of soil particle-size fractions further points towards a recent accumulation of soil organic matter (SOM), and 13C and 15N analysis suggests that tree roots are a major contributor to the increase of SOM content and N retention. Potential nitrification and denitrification rates increase with street system age, which seems driven by an increase in ammonia-oxidising bacteria. The long-term dynamics of C seem characterized by increasing belowground inputs coupled with root-C stabilization mechanisms. For N, the losses are likely compensated by exogenous inputs, part of which is retained in plant biomass (roots) and SOM.These results are then discussed in light of results obtained on Parisian black locust systems (Robinia pseudoacacia Linnæus), as well as other data, and management recommendations are proposed.
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Aleksandar Rankovic. Living the street life : long-term carbon and nitrogen dynamics in parisian soil-tree systems. Ecology, environment. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016PA066728⟩. ⟨tel-01653082⟩

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