Variations of soil enzyme activities in a temperate forest soil

Hojeong Kang, Sinkyu Kang, Dowon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Soil enzyme activities (dehydrogenase, urease, phosphatase, and arylsulfatase) in a temperate forest soil were determined in relation to landscape position and seasons. Overstory of the area is dominated by Quercus mongolica, Kalopanax pictus, Carpicus cordata, and Acer pseudo-sieboldianum. The activities were measured in three patches, namely a north-facing backslope, a ridge, and a south-facing backslope in autumn and spring over 2 years. In addition, spatially more detailed analysis for phosphatase was conducted before and after litterfall production in six patches. Dehydrogenase, urease, phosphatase, and arylsulfatase activities varied 1.8-18.5 μg INT-formazan g-1 h-1, 45.4-347.0 μg NH4+ g-1 h-1, 0.9-4.5 mmol pNP g-1 h-1, and 0.7-2.6 mmol pNP g-1 h-1, respectively. In general, higher enzyme activities were found in the northern aspect than in the southern aspect. This variation appears to be related to differences in chemical properties (e.g., Fe, Al, and Mg) of soil as well as distribution of leaf litter. Two patterns were discernible in relation to seasonal variations. Dehydrogenase and urease exhibited a positive correlation with mean air temperature, suggesting that temperature would be a major controlling variable for those enzymes. In contrast, higher activities were detected in autumn for phosphatase and arylsulfatase activities, which appeared to be closely related to litter production and distribution. Overall results of this study indicate that soil enzyme activities in a forest floor are influenced by several variables such as temperature, nutrient availability, and input of leaf litter, which are closely related to landscape position.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1137-1143
Number of pages7
JournalEcological Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Sept

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments H. Kang is grateful to AEBRC, EcoRiver21 for financial support.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Variations of soil enzyme activities in a temperate forest soil'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this