Invasion of moso bamboo into a Japanese cedar plantation affects the chemical composition and humification of soil organic matter.
Bamboo, which has dense culms and root rhizome systems, can alter soil properties when it invades adjacent forests. Therefore, this study investigated whether bamboo invasions can cause changes in soil organic matter (SOM) composition and soil humification. We combined solid-state 13C NMR spectroscopy and chemical analysis to examine the SOM in a Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) and adjacent bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) plantation. Bamboo reduced soil organic C (SOC) content, compared to the cedar plantation. The value of ΔlogK (ratio of absorbance of humic acids at 400 and 600 nm) was cedar > transition zone > bamboo soils. Our results indicated that bamboo increased SOM humification, which could be due to the fast decomposition of bamboo litter with the high labile C. Furthermore, intensive management in the bamboo plantation could enhance the humification as well. Overall, litter type can control an ecosystem's SOC nature, as reflected by the finding that higher labile C in bamboo litter contributed the higher ratios of labile C to SOC and lower ratios of recalcitrant C to SOC in bamboo soils compared with cedar soils. The invasion of bamboo into the Japanese cedar plantation accelerated the degradation of SOM.